Consumer behavior linked with emotions

November 15, 2005

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University and at Tilburg University in the Netherlands say extraneous emotions can affect consumer purchases.

"Although previous studies have shown that people in a positive mood evaluate products more favorably than people in a negative mood, little is known about how specific extraneous emotions impact evaluations," write the authors of the study, Anick Bosmans of Tilburg University and Hans Baumgartner from Penn State. "This research demonstrates consumers are more likely to rely on their specific extraneous emotions while evaluating products when these emotions 'match' with their salient goals."

The researchers also noted a discernable difference between two types of emotions: achievement vs. protection. The former relates to feelings of cheerfulness or dejection, while the latter to quiescence and agitation.

"That is, people who were confronted with an achievement appeal evaluated the advertised product as more positive when they felt cheerful (because they previously described a life event which made them feel cheerful), whereas people who were confronted with a protection appeal evaluated the product as more positive when they felt quiescent (because they previously described a life event which made them feel quiescent)," the researchers said.

The study appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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