The Emotional Experience of Guilt in Ethically Questionable Consumer Situations
AbstractThe current research scrutinizes the discrete emotion of guilt in situations in which the consumer benefits at the expense of the seller. A first objective was to endorse previous made assumptions of guilt being an important emotion in ethically questionable consumer situations. Therefore, in a first study the experience of guilt (versus shame) is explored across four different questionable consumer behaviors relying on two key ingredients of the guilt emotion, i.e. perceived control and omission/commission. A second objective was to examine what causes guilt to occur in these questionable situations (study 2a/b). Two distinct conceptualizations of the guilt emotion are investigated, i.e. the intrapsychic and interpersonal perspective. Results support both notions of the guilt emotion separately in the context of consumer ethics. When investigating the consequent ethical intentions, it was found to be sufficient for consumers’ behavioral decisions to alter if one of the two perspectives is made salient, that is, when guilt is aroused. Implications are discussed for both consumer ethics literature and consumer behavior research in general.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 06/381.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-06-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-HPE-2006-06-10 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-MKT-2006-06-10 (Marketing)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- O'Guinn, Thomas C & Faber, Ronald J, 1989. " Compulsive Buying: A Phenomenological Exploration," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 147-57, September.
- Rook, Dennis W, 1987. " The Buying Impulse," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 189-99, September.
- Muncy, James A. & Vitell, Scott J., 1992. "Consumer ethics: An investigation of the ethical beliefs of the final consumer," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 297-311, June.
- Baron, Jonathan & Ritov, Ilana, 1994. "Reference Points and Omission Bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 475-498, September.
- Zeelenberg, M. & Pieters, R., 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction: A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-304446, Tilburg University.
- Zeelenberg, Marcel & Beattie, Jane, 1997. "Consequences of Regret Aversion 2: Additional Evidence for Effects of Feedback on Decision Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 63-78, October.
- Richins, Marsha L, 1997. " Measuring Emotions in the Consumption Experience," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 127-46, September.
- Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1999. "Protected Values and Omission Bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 79-94, August.
- Zeelenberg, Marcel & Pieters, Rik, 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction: A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 445-455, April.
- Herr, Paul M, 1989. " Priming Price: Prior Knowledge and Context Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-75, June.
- Kirmani, Amna & Lee, Michelle P. & Yoon, Carolyn, 2004. "Procedural priming effects on spontaneous inference formation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 859-875, December.
- Tsiros, Michael & Mittal, Vikas, 2000. " Regret: A Model of Its Antecedents and Consequences in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 401-17, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.