The Effect of Gain-Loss Message Framing and Dimensions of Perceived Risk on Consumer Purchase Evaluation: Evidence from Discount Carriers

Yu Guo, Purdue University


Messages framing has been widely applied in hospitality and other service-oriented industries. In practice, actually equivalent commercial messages are framed into gains, losses, or different dimensions of risk, to promote a particular behavior of customers. However, it lacks a study considering the combining impacts of gain-loss message framing together with risk dimensions, aiming at improving the purchase evaluation of price-sensitive customers for discount carriers’ optional services. The current study examined evidence from optional services of discount carriers and explored how consumers’ purchase evaluation including, willingness-to-pay (WTP), purchase intention, and perceived fairness are affected by gain-loss message framing and risk dimensions. Besides, it compared consumers’ WTP and purchase intention for discount carriers versus legacy airlines. The results revealed that there was a significant effect of gain-loss message framing on WTP. Also, the results indicated that there was a significant effect of dimensions of perceived risk on consumers’ purchase intention and perceived fairness. However, gain-loss framing did not significantly affect the purchase intention, and dimensions of perceived risk did not significantly affect the WTP. In the exploration of best message framing combination, financial risk and mixed message framing (combines gain-framed and loss-framed messages) was found to be the most effective in motivating consumers intention to purchase, whereas performance risk and mixed message framing was proved to be the best in raising consumers’ WTP and maintaining their perceived fairness. Further, the comparison of discount carriers and legacy airlines suggested that price-sensitive consumers have a stronger purchase intention for discount carriers, while they have a higher WTP for legacy airlines. This study confirmed the importance of gain-loss message framing and dimensions of perceived risk, from the theoretical prospective, and it also discussed several differential findings compared with the previous literature. Moreover, the study provided guidelines of message framing and marketing practices for both discount carriers and legacy airlines to acquire price-sensitive customers, and enhance their top lines.




Tang, Purdue University.

Subject Area


Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server