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Unraveling consumer suspense: The role of hope, fear, and probability fluctuations


  • Moulard, Julie Guidry
  • Kroff, Michael W.
  • Folse, Judith Anne Garretson


This empirical research focuses on suspense, which is proposed to be a formative construct comprised of the emotions of hope and fear. Two measurement studies that focus on developing a scale for suspense, as well as scales for its two emotional components of hope and fear, are first presented. Next, using a 2 (approach appraisal)×2 (avoidance appraisal)×2 (probability fluctuation) experiment, we first show that hope and fear are valid indicators of suspense. We also determine that hope is influenced by an approach appraisal of a potential event, whereas fear is influenced by an avoidance appraisal of a potential event. Further, we demonstrate that probability fluctuation positively affects outcome uncertainty, which in turn, positively affects the anticipatory emotions of hope and fear.

Suggested Citation

  • Moulard, Julie Guidry & Kroff, Michael W. & Folse, Judith Anne Garretson, 2012. "Unraveling consumer suspense: The role of hope, fear, and probability fluctuations," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 340-346.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:65:y:2012:i:3:p:340-346
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.04.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ruiz, David Martín & Gremler, Dwayne D. & Washburn, Judith H. & Carrión, Gabriel Cepeda, 2008. "Service value revisited: Specifying a higher-order, formative measure," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(12), pages 1278-1291, December.
    2. Babin, Barry J. & Darden, William R. & University, Louisiana State & Shreveport & Lousiana & Babin, Laurie A., 1998. "Negative Emotions in Marketing Research: Affect or Artifact?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 271-285, July.
    3. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
    4. Diamantopoulos, Adamantios & Riefler, Petra & Roth, Katharina P., 2008. "Advancing formative measurement models," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(12), pages 1203-1218, December.
    5. Jarvis, Cheryl Burke & MacKenzie, Scott B & Podsakoff, Philip M, 2003. " A Critical Review of Construct Indicators and Measurement Model Misspecification in Marketing and Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 199-218, September.
    6. Richins, Marsha L, 1997. " Measuring Emotions in the Consumption Experience," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 127-146, September.
    7. MacKenzie, Scott B, 2001. " Opportunities for Improving Consumer Research through Latent Variable Structural Equation Modeling," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 159-166, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lastner, Matthew M. & Folse, Judith Anne Garretson & Mangus, Stephanie M. & Fennell, Patrick, 2016. "The road to recovery: Overcoming service failures through positive emotions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 4278-4286.


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