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When do consumers indulge in luxury? Emotional certainty signals when to indulge to regulate affect

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  • Francine Espinoza Petersen

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

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    Abstract

    Current theorizing suggests that the valence of an affective state alone cannot explain indulgent consumption but that this is contingent on whether indulging can improve a negative state or will not hurt a positive state. This research shows that when an emotion is associated with the appraisal of uncertainty (certainty), consumers infer that their affective state can (cannot) change. As a result, people in a negative affective state will indulge more when their affect is associated with uncertainty because indulging can help repair the negative state, but people in a positive affective state will indulge more when their affective state is associated with certainty because indulging will not hurt their positive state. Reconciling earlier research reporting apparently inconsistent results linking emotional valence, affect regulation, and indulgence, these findings suggest that the certainty appraisal of specific emotions is important in predicting indulgent consumption to regulate one’s affect. Implications are discussed.

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    File URL: http://static.esmt.org/publications/workingpapers/ESMT-12-06.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-12-06.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: 22 Oct 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-12-06

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    Related research

    Keywords: emotion; certainty; appraisal; affect regulation; indulgence; luxury consumption;

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    1. Marcel Zeelenberg & Rob M. A. Nelissen & Seger M. Breugelmans & Rik Pieters, 2008. "On emotion specificity in decision making: why feeling is for doing," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 18-27, January.
    2. Suresh Ramanathan & Patti Williams, 2007. "Immediate and Delayed Emotional Consequences of Indulgence: The Moderating Influence of Personality Type on Mixed Emotions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 212-223, 05.
    3. Aparna A. Labroo & Anirban Mukhopadhyay, 2009. "Lay Theories of Emotion Transience and the Search for Happiness: A Fresh Perspective on Affect Regulation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 242 - 254.
    4. Hao Shen & Robert S. Wyer Jr., 2008. "Procedural Priming and Consumer Judgments: Effects on the Impact of Positively and Negatively Valenced Information," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(5), pages 727-737, October.
    5. Eduardo B. Andrade, 2005. "Behavioral Consequences of Affect: Combining Evaluative and Regulatory Mechanisms," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 355-362, December.
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