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Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Dissertation Defense: Destination Image and Tourist's Imagination: The Forgotten Component

Rosen College of Hospitality 221
July 2, 2018 @ 09:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Announcing the Final Examination of Jalayer Khalilzadeh for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The objectives of this dissertation was to 1) develop a comprehensive scale to measure visitors' imagination (DMIQ: Destination Mental Image Questionnaire), 2) investigate the structural relationship between imagination and TDI components of cognitive, affective, and conative, 3) compare and contrast the various qualities of vividness, richness, saliency, control, and spatial between imagination and prospection, and 4) study the impact of different information sources on the evolving process of prospection to imagination.

By conducting 4 different studies and 7 data collection phases, the DMIQ was developed, validated, and utilized to test the proposed structural and differential hypotheses. In study 1, the phenomenology approach was employed and through a series of interviews, the internal experience of the imagination process was extracted. In study 2, which is composed of two focus groups, the potential manifest variables to measure imagination/prospection were developed and the structure of the questionannrie was designed. In study 3, through 3 data collection phases, two versions of long and short DMIQ were validated and the structural relatiosnhips between imagination and destination image was investigated. In the final stuidy, utiziling experimental design, hypotheses related to 5 qualities of imagination were compared to those of prospection. Finally, by adopting an exploratry approach, the impact of different information sources on imagination was investigated.

The results of this dissertation indicated that DMIQ is a reliable and valid scale to be used in various hospitality and tourism consumption contexts. It shows a high discriminant validity with TDI and structurally moderates the inter-relationships of the TDI components. In addition, findings of this dissertation support the theoretical discussions on the differences between imagination and prospection. Finally, the results revealed significant distinctions among image, video, and textual information sources regarding their impact on the quality of the mental image.

Committee in Charge: Abraham Pizam (Chair), Alan Fyall, Asli D. A. Tasci, Peter A. Hancock