Effect of consumers' and salespersons' age on perceptions of salespeople Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pg15bh28z

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  • Physical appearance is one of the most important cues that an individual uses in forming an impression of another person. Researchers have found that perceptions of age are negatively related to perceptions of physical attractiveness. Because salespeople are influential in affecting a store's sales, especially for nondurable goods (Undell, 1972), consumers' perceptions of salespeople may influence the store's image and sales outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate consumers' perceptions of salespeople of different ages and to determine if differences in these perceptions were related to consumers' age and salespersons' age. Two groups of subjects were investigated - younger adults (between 18 and 28 years of age) and older adults (55 years of age and older) . Younger adult subjects were recruited from university classrooms (n = 41). Older adult subjects were the recipients of Oregon Horne Economics Extension Newsletter (n = 46). The total sample size was 87. A questionnaire was used in the present study to investigate a consumer's perceptions. The questionnaire included three parts questions on the respondent's shopping patterns, a consumer shopping scenario which included the salesperson's age manipulation, and questions asking demographic information. Three dependent variables were measured in the questionnaire: perceptions of the salesperson's fashionability, product knowledge, and job performance. The data were analyzed using the chi-square statistic and content analysis. Results indicated that consumers' perceptions of a salesperson's fashionability was related to the age of the salesperson. Perceptions of a salesperson's fashionability was also related to the age of consumer and the age of the salesperson. Perceptions of the salesperson's product knowledge and performance were not related to the age of salesperson nor to the age of the consumers.
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