Lay Theories of Emotion Transience and the Search for Happiness: A Fresh Perspective on Affect Regulation

14 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2012

See all articles by Aparna A. Labroo

Aparna A. Labroo

University of Chicago

Anirban Mukhopadhyay

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Date Written: August 2, 2009

Abstract

Across six studies, we demonstrate that consumers have beliefs pertaining to the transience of emotion, which, along with their current feelings, determine the extent to which they regulate their immediate affect. If consumers believe that emotion is fleeting, those feeling happy (vs. unhappy) engage in affect regulation because they infer that they need to take actions to maintain their positive feelings. In contrast, if consumers believe that emotion is lasting, those feeling unhappy (vs. happy) engage in affect regulation because they infer that the negative feelings will persist unless they take actions to repair them. These effects are obtained with measured and with manipulated beliefs, and they occur only when the theories pertain specifically to emotion. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.

Keywords: lay theories, implicit theories, emotion, affect regulation, self-regulation

Suggested Citation

Labroo, Aparna A. and Mukhopadhyay, Anirban, Lay Theories of Emotion Transience and the Search for Happiness: A Fresh Perspective on Affect Regulation (August 2, 2009). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 36, No. 2, August 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2168077

Aparna A. Labroo

University of Chicago ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Anirban Mukhopadhyay (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

999999

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
32
Abstract Views
398
PlumX Metrics