Public Release: 

Feelings, nothing more than feelings: How you feel affects buying behavior

University of Chicago Press Journals

Have you ever felt really low and thought, for some reason, that shopping for new clothes was a good idea? New research from the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research examines the role of feelings - both positive and negative - in buying behavior.

"People sometimes turn to spending and consumption to alleviate negative feelings. But bad feelings can also induce an overall negative evaluation of the shopping experience that may reduce consumption. So, the question is 'What can we predict about consumer choices when you assess these two mechanisms together?'" says researcher Eduardo Andrade (University of California, Berkeley).

Participants were put in a certain mood and then asked to rate their interest in trying a particular product--chocolate. Those who perceived chocolate to be mood-lifting were receptive, while those who perceived it as negative were not. "When mood lifting or mood threatening cues are highlighted, the regulation mechanism tends to prevail over the evaluation mechanism to direct behavior," writes Andrade.


Andrade, Eduardo. "Behavioral Consequences of Affect: Combining Evaluative and Regulatory Mechanisms." Journal of Consumer Research, Dec 2005.

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