Effects of regulatory focus and user perception on search engine advertising avoidance

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Yi Li
Zhihui Yuan
Jing Liu
Cite this article:  Li, Y., Yuan, Z., & Liu, J. (2017). Effects of regulatory focus and user perception on search engine advertising avoidance. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(6), 999-1006.


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We examined the effects of promotion and prevention types of regulatory focus and the 3 user perception factors of perceived goal impediment, perceived advertising clutter, and prior negative experience, on search engine advertising (SEA) avoidance. The participants comprised 348 in-service users of the Chinese search engine, Baidu. We found that regulatory focus, perceived goal impediment, perceived advertising clutter, and prior negative experience had a significantly positive effect on SEA avoidance. Moreover, each user perception factor fully mediated the relationship between regulatory focus and SEA avoidance. We also revealed 1 personality antecedent (regulatory focus) of SEA avoidance and examined how it functions. Our findings suggest that advertisers and search engine operators should differentiate between promotion-focused and prevention-focused users, and pay attention to the perceived experience of each user type.

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