Feeling Love and Doing More for Distant Others: Specific Positive Emotions Differentially Affect Prosocial Consumption

Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming

55 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2014 Last revised: 21 Mar 2015

See all articles by Lisa A. Cavanaugh

Lisa A. Cavanaugh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

James R. Bettman

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Mary Frances Luce

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Date Written: September 1, 2014

Abstract

Marketers often employ a variety of positive emotions to encourage consumption or promote a particular behavior (e.g., to buy, donate, or recycle) benefiting an organization or cause. We show that specific positive emotions do not universally increase prosocial behavior but rather encourage different types of prosocial behavior. Four studies show that whereas positive emotions (i.e., love, hope, pride, compassion) all induce prosocial behavior toward close entities (relative to a neutral emotional state), only love induces prosocial behavior toward distant others and international organizations. Love’s effect is driven by a distinct form of broadening, characterized by extending feelings of social connection and the boundary of caring to be more inclusive of others regardless of relatedness. Love — as a trait and a momentary emotion — is unique among positive emotions in fostering connectedness that other positive emotions (hope and pride) do not and broadening behavior in a way that other connected emotions (compassion) do not. This research contributes to the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotion by demonstrating a distinct type of broadening for love and adds an important qualification to the general finding that positive emotions uniformly encourage prosocial behavior.

Keywords: Broaden-and-Build, Love, Hope, Pride, Compassion, Prosocial Behavior, Positive Emotions, Broadening

JEL Classification: C91, M3, M14, M31, M37

Suggested Citation

Cavanaugh, Lisa A. and Bettman, James R. and Luce, Mary Frances, Feeling Love and Doing More for Distant Others: Specific Positive Emotions Differentially Affect Prosocial Consumption (September 1, 2014). Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2499349

Lisa A. Cavanaugh (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

James R. Bettman

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Mary Frances Luce

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
300
Abstract Views
1,644
rank
103,035
PlumX Metrics