Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Habib, Reza

Second Advisor

Wilkinson, Wayne


Two psychological variables are of interest in the study of consumers: brand personality perceptions (per social cognition, beliefs that brands exhibit human-like attributes) and nudges (per behavioral economics, an attempt to influence behavioral change that benefits the consumer without taking away their right to choose). However, no known research exists about whether these variables explain behavioral intentions to consume podcasts, specifically. This is relevant because perceptions of mass media brands are historically negative, and consumers increasingly seek out independent media (e.g., Breaking Points). Therefore, this dissertation’s purpose was to use Breaking Points as an example to study the influence of brand personality and nudges on behavioral intentions to subscribe to a podcast. In two survey experiments (total N = 486 United States adults recruited via CloudResearch’s Connect), brand personality perceptions (i.e., sincerity, competence, status) were hypothesized to explain intentions to subscribe. Likewise, those exposed to the potential nudge were expected to report stronger intentions, compared to those unexposed. All participants viewed a description about and a clip from the podcast. Some were also randomly assigned to view a potential nudge from Breaking Points’ YouTube channel. Then, all participants answered questions about the podcast’s brand personality, about intentions to subscribe, and about psychographics. In both experiments, hierarchical regression revealed that brand personality significantly explained behavioral intentions while controlling for potential confounds (average R2 = 40%). The findings provide evidence that brand personality knowledge can expand into podcasts. In contrast, future research should investigate other stimuli that could potentially nudge podcast consumers.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.