Why do people interact and buy in the Metaverse? Self-Expansion perspectives and the impact of hedonic adaptation


The metaverse, a virtual space where people can interact with each other, is garnering global attention. This study attempts to answer three questions: what attracts someone to the metaverse, why do consumers buy intangible virtual goods in it, and do participants purchase more virtual items as they visit it frequently? Drawing from self-expansion theory and the notion of hedonic adaptation, this study examined the effects of perceived interactivity on the purchase intention of virtual items in the metaverse, mediated by perceived self-expansion, and moderated by metaverse access frequency. Data were collected through a survey of 248 individuals with metaverse experience. The results indicated that participants’ perceived interactivity (i.e., playfulness and connectedness) strengthened their perception of expanded self, which in turn enhanced their purchase intentions toward virtual items. Furthermore, the metaverse access frequency was found to weaken the indirect effects of playfulness and connectedness on purchase intention through self-expansion.

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