Our Western consumer culture is replete with promises of material opulence, and many people have fallen prey to its enticements. As a result of this perspective, most of the models that guide researchers' understanding of the marketplace concentrate on how to navigate this abundance to make satisfying exchange decisions. A primary driver involves coping mechanisms consumers employ to help process the endless parade of media messages designed to influence them. The term information overload was coined to describe this dilemma, masking the underlying tenet of opportunity overload. Thus, the consumer challenge is to make good decisions under the implicit assumption that our ability to conduct such transactions is ensured.

Some authors view this unspoken premise of widespread marketplace exchange capability to match unlimited opportunity as misguided. ...

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