Nonfinancial Motives and Bargain Hunting1


  • 1

    This research was completed as part of the first author's Master's Thesis. Support was provided by a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the second author.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Peter R. Darke, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1, Canada.


Two experiments investigated financial and nonfmancial motives involved in bargain hunting. Subjects read scenarios that described the purchase of a television set. Scenarios differed in terms of whether a bargain was received, whether there was personal financial gain, and whether the sale was acquired through skill or luck. The results suggest that subjects generally enjoyed bargains regardless of any financial gain, thereby implying that nonfmancial motives might also be involved. Surprisingly, bargains acquired skillfully were not enjoyed more than lucky bargains. Thus, achievement motives could not explain why subjects enjoyed bargains when there was no associated financial gain. Instead, it seemed that acquiring a bargain was primarily considered a matter of luck.