Who has not known a tightwad? Yet this pervasive consumer trait—being frugal—has been ignored in the scholarly consumer behavior literature. This research articulates the nature of this overlooked consumer trait and then develops, evaluates, and empirically applies a multi-item scale of frugality. The results from a six-study program of empirical research are reported. These studies describe (1) the psychometric properties of a frugality measure, (2) demonstrations of how frugality assists the empirical study of consumer usage and acquisition behaviors, and (3) frugality scale norms from a probability sample of the general adult population.

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