In order not to cannibalize the sale of software, software firms often place restrictive interventions on the usage of the free trial software (FTS). The two most commonly adopted approaches are time and functionality restrictions. Building on psychological reactance theory and expectation- disconfirmation theory, this study seeks to investigate the influence of time and functionality restrictions on users’ attitudinal and behavioral responses when the restrictions are either more adverse or favorable than initially expected. Our survey results indicate that when a user perceives the restrictions to be less (more) adverse than anticipated, he/she is more likely to formulate higher (lower) expected value of the FTS and attitude toward the software firm, which in turn positively (negatively) influence perceived effort devoted to the trial process. Concerning behavioral responses to time restriction, we observe that users are less likely to devote and perceive higher effort toward using the FTS when they are given shorter evaluation time. In addition, the influence of time restriction on perceived effort is positively moderated by the accessibility of one’s perceived resources. We also establish that perceived effort positively affects the switching cost of a user to switch from a current FTS to other software.
Xue, Yang; Hock-Hai, Teo; and Chuan-Hoo, Tan, "A Psychological Reactance Perspective on Time and Functionality Restrictions of Free Trial Software: Are You Willing to Evaluate the Software?" (2006). ICIS 2006 Proceedings. 92.