To “Free” or Not to “Free”: Trait Predictors of Mobile App Purchasing Tendencies

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This research is the first to examine the relationship between personality traits and mobile application (app) purchasing tendencies, specifically the tendency to pay for apps when free alternatives are available (Mobile App Payment), and the tendency to make In‐App Purchases. A hierarchical model of personality traits was tested via structural equation modeling with 257 U.S. college students who own and use mobile devices. The study provides robust evidence that bargain proneness positively influences both Mobile App Payment and In‐App Purchases, with need for arousal positively influencing Mobile App Payment. Additionally, frugality negatively influences both Mobile App Payment and In‐App Purchases. Indirect or mediated effects of extraversion and need for arousal on mobile app purchasing tendencies were also found. Finally, managerial and theoretical implications are discussed.



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