Consumer Maturity Scaling and Validation

This academic inquiry is triggered by a gigantic consumers deception that absorbed huge public attention recently in Indonesia. Around 58.000 consumers are victimized by a travel company. They are offered by the company to pay only Rp 14.000.000 for the cost of hajj. This of course is much lower than normal cost of Rp 34.000.000 set up by government. Finally,  they failed to go hajj. Because of this, at the second semester 2017,  the company is banned by the government and the owners jailed.

Why should we think of consumer maturity scale when faced with this problem? Firstly, in this case, company offering is actually out of logic.  How can it send thousand of people for  hajj at a cost that less than half of normal cost as we know that normal cost has been set up as such to make it highly affordable for most of people.  It seems that much of the consumers forget to use this logic and tend to focus on big money that can be saved through low price offered. Secondly, when the problem is finally sparked out, how can the victims demand government to take over their financial lost and threatened to  stage massive demonstration if government fail to fulfill their demand? Minimal use of logic in decision making and the effort to project one’s bad fortune to others are thought as the signs of childish behavior.  This is the root of the problem. The authors dares to say that in this case, if consumers exhibited mature behavior when making decision, this problem can be avoided.

Now we arrive at consumers maturity to which the whole article is focused. We put it as the extension of psychological maturity.  This concept is actually still understudied in consumer behavior.  But, other fields have demonstrated long tradition of research about it.  In education, Greenberger (1971) developed highly reliable and moderate validity psychological maturity measurement to investigate factors contributed to student achievement. They found that the more mature were the students psychologically, the higher were their achievement. Champs and Morales-Vives (2013) found that among three predictors of psychological maturity they used, only work orientation has significant effect on student achievement.

In social research domain,  Morales-Vives,  Camps,  Lorenzo-Seva and Vigil-Colet (2014) found that self-reliance and identity are the dimensions of psychological maturity that most related to adolescents aggressiveness. More specifically, self-reliance is the main predictor of indirect aggression and identity is the main predictor of direct aggression. They also revealed that overall psychological maturity is more related to indirect aggression in men than in women.  It means that in comparison to women, the increase in psychological maturity is followed by greater decrease of indirect aggression in men (to be continued).