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The effect of humor in electronic service encounters


  • van Dolen, Willemijn M.
  • de Ruyter, Ko
  • Streukens, Sandra


By means of an experimental design, we investigate the moderating effect of humor on the interplay between process and outcome in terms of customer evaluations of the electronic service encounter. We conclude that a favorable process mitigates an unfavorable outcome in terms of enjoyment, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions when related humor is included on the website. Contrary, on a non-humorous website, the functional process has no effect when outcome is negative. However, in addition to the positive, compensatory effect, we find that for websites that are unfavorable in terms of process and outcome, the use of related humor causes more negative customer evaluations compared to a non-humorous website.

Suggested Citation

  • van Dolen, Willemijn M. & de Ruyter, Ko & Streukens, Sandra, 2008. "The effect of humor in electronic service encounters," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 160-179, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:2:p:160-179

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kraiger, Kurt & Billings, Robert S. & Isen, Alice M., 1989. "The influence of positive affective states on task perceptions and satisfaction," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 12-25, August.
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    4. Kwong, Jessica Y. Y. & Leung, Kwok, 2002. "A Moderator of the Interaction Effect of Procedural Justice and Outcome Favorability: Importance of the Relationship," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 278-299, March.
    5. Scott, Cliff & Klein, David M & Bryant, Jennings, 1990. "Consumer Response to Humor in Advertising: A Series of Field Studies Using Behavioral Observation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 498-501, March.
    6. Barone, Michael J & Miniard, Paul W & Romeo, Jean B, 2000. "The Influence of Positive Mood on Brand Extension Evaluations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 386-400, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Verhagen, T. & Dolen, W. van, 2009. "The influence of online store characteristics on consumer impulsive decision-making: a model and empirical application," Serie Research Memoranda 0046, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    2. Alatalo, Sari & Oikarinen, Eeva-Liisa & Reiman, Arto & Tan, Teck Ming & Heikka, Eija-Liisa & Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia & Muhos, Matti & Vuorela, Taina, 2018. "Linking concepts of playfulness and well-being at work in retail sector," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 226-233.
    3. Tung Moi Chiew & Christine Mathies & Paul Patterson, 2019. "The effect of humour usage on customer’s service experiences," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 44(1), pages 109-127, February.

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