Need for touch and information processing strategies: An empirical examination


Nancy Spears, Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Texas, College of Business, 1155 Union Circle #311160, Denton, TX 76203, USA.



Drawing from literatures on haptic modality and information processing, direct measures of information processing strategy are developed and applied to investigate whether touch search is a form of analytical processing. Applying two distinct approaches in the two studies, evidence of the processing style of those high in need for touch, compared with those low in need for touch, is gathered and tested in an online context where touch is not available. Cumulatively, the findings indicate that high-need-for-touch consumers follow an analytical, feature-by-feature processing strategy, whereas those low in need for touch rely more on a relational processing strategy. Theoretical and managerial implications are provided. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.