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Consumers' product choices depend upon their mood

Washington, Fri, 16 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington, March 16(ANI): When they're in a positive mood, people tend to choose products that match their mood and their level of emotional arousal, say researchers.


But crabby, low-energy people will seek products to reverse those states of mind.


"We examine how consumers' choices are affected by the interplay between their level of arousal (i.e., the intensity of a consumer's mood state) and the valence (the direction of their mood state-whether consumers are in a positive or negative mood) of their current affective state," stated researchers Fabrizio Di Muro (University of Winnipeg) and Kyle Murray (University of Alberta).


Although the vast majority of products, services, and experiences offered for sale are designed to be pleasant, the researchers said that there is a much greater variance in the level of arousal to which these offerings are designed to appeal.


For example, lying on a beach and surfing are both pleasant, but lying on a beach is a low-arousal activity, as opposed to surfing, a high-arousal (intense) experience. And tea and energy drinks are both pleasant, but one is more arousing than the other.


The researchers conducted experiments using scents and music to elicit arousal and mood states among participants. Then they measured people's preferences for experiences and products that are perceived to be either low or high arousal.


They found that in addition to regulating mood (positive or negative), consumers also make choices that are consistent with regulating their level of arousal.


"For example, people who are feeling relaxed tend to choose relaxing products, whereas those who are feeling excited tend to choose exciting products," the researchers said.


On the other hand, when consumers are in a negative mood they prefer products that are incongruent with both their level of arousal and their current mood.


"For example, people who are in an unpleasant low-arousal mood will tend to choose pleasant high-arousal products, whereas those who are in an unpleasant high-arousal mood will tend to choose pleasant low-arousal products," the researchers explained.


"In general, we find that people will demonstrate a strong preference for products that make them 'feel better.


"Consumers' product choices will be consistent with pursuing pleasant moods and mitigating unpleasant moods," they concluded.


The finding appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)


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