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Lay Theories of Emotion Transience and the Search for Happiness: A Fresh Perspective on Affect Regulation

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  • Aparna A. Labroo
  • Anirban Mukhopadhyay
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    Abstract

    Across six studies, we demonstrate that consumers have beliefs pertaining to the transience of emotion, which, along with their current feelings, determine the extent to which they regulate their immediate affect. If consumers believe that emotion is fleeting, those feeling happy (vs. unhappy) engage in affect regulation because they infer that they need to take actions to maintain their positive feelings. In contrast, if consumers believe that emotion is lasting, those feeling unhappy (vs. happy) engage in affect regulation because they infer that the negative feelings will persist unless they take actions to repair them. These effects are obtained with measured and with manipulated beliefs, and they occur only when the theories pertain specifically to emotion. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/597159
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/597159
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 242 - 254

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/597159

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Francine Espinoza Petersen, 2012. "When do consumers indulge in luxury? Emotional certainty signals when to indulge to regulate affect," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-06, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    2. Erik Maier & Robert Wilken & Helmut Schneider & Gülpınar Kelemci Schneider, 2012. "In the mood to buy? Understanding the interplay of mood regulation and congruence in an international context," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 1005-1018, December.
    3. Inés López López & Salvador Ruiz de Maya, 2012. "When hedonic products help regulate my mood," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 701-717, September.

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