An Arousal Regulation Explanation of Mood Effects on Consumer Choice
This article examines how consumers’ preferences are affected by the interplay between their level of arousal and the valence of their current affective state. Building on prior research examining the regulation of mood valence, the authors propose that consumers are also motivated to manage their level of arousal. It is predicted that this motivation systematically affects consumers’ product preferences such that consumers in a pleasant mood will tend to choose products that are congruent with their current level of arousal, while those in an unpleasant mood will tend to choose products that are incongruent with their current level of arousal. The results of three consequential choice studies—that use scent and music to vary consumers’ moods—provide strong support for the hypotheses. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical implications of the results.
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