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Title: Rise of 'lonely' consumers in the post-COVID-19 era : a synthesised review on psychological, commercial and social implications
Authors: Wang, Xueqin
Wong, Yiik Diew
Yuen, Kum Fai
Keywords: Engineering::Civil engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Wang, X., Wong, Y. D., & Yuen, K. F. (2021). Rise of ‘Lonely’ Consumers in the Post-COVID-19 Era: A Synthesised Review on Psychological, Commercial and Social Implications. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 404-. doi:10.3390/ijerph18020404
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
Abstract: Loneliness is a pervasive problem recognised as a serious social issue, and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated loneliness to greater prominence and concern. We expect a rise of a massive group of 'lonely' consumers who are deeply entrenched in the social isolation caused by COVID-19. There is an urgent need to revisit the phenomenon of lonely consumers to better prepare academic researchers, public policy makers and commercial managers in the post-COVID-19 era. Thus, this study conducts a synthesised review on past studies of lonely consumers. Based on an inductive analysis of 56 articles, 74 key themes are identified. These key themes are further categorised into five major clusters by way of a co-occurrence network analysis. Respectively, the five clusters address the psychological implications related to the dynamics between nonhuman attachment and consumers' loneliness, the commercial implications related to the paradoxical motivations of affiliation and self-affirmation in product selection and the dual information processing mechanism in response to advertisement appeals, and the social implications related to consumers' well-being in an ageing society and the anthropomorphic companionship in a virtual world. A list of research questions is proposed that concludes the review study.
ISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18020404
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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