Passive or active: Understanding consumers' behavioral responses to online advertising

Jian Tang, Ping Zhang, Philip Fei Wu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Approach and avoidance are two major types of behavioral responses when consumers encounter interferences caused by online advertising. This paper argues that approach-avoidance is not the only dimension from which researchers can examine behavioral responses toward online advertising. The inclusion of the active-passive behaviors dimension enriches the understanding of consumers' coping strategies. Active and passive behaviors differ from each other by the intensity of coping efforts. Active behavioral responses imply that consumers act upon online ads and make efforts to approach or avoid them. Passive behavioral responses indicate that consumers make little efforts to change the current status, and would rather approach or avoid in a passive way. Data was collected through an online survey by asking participants to recall their experiences with online ads and their behavioral responses. We found that the effects of ad design characteristics (content, form, and behavior) on consumers' behavioral responses differ across two-dimensions: Approach-Avoidance and Active- Passive. In addition, these effects also vary when consumers have different views (negative vs. positive) of the online ads. The contribution of this study lies in suggesting the two-dimensional view of studying consumers' responses toward online ads and in deepening our understanding of consumer behavior in dealing with digital artefacts in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2013
Event17th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2013 - Jeju Island, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Jun 18 2013Jun 22 2013


Other17th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, PACIS 2013
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CityJeju Island


  • Activepassive behavior
  • Approach-avoidance behavior
  • Design characteristic
  • Online advertising
  • Stimulus-organism-response model
  • Theory of psychological reactance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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