The Role of Arousal in Congruity-Based Product Evaluation

Posted: 17 Nov 2015

See all articles by Theodore Noseworthy

Theodore Noseworthy

York University - Schulich School of Business

Fabrizio Di Muro

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business

Kyle B. Murray

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Date Written: September 5, 2014

Abstract

New products are often incongruent with consumer expectations. Researchers have shown that consumers prefer moderately incongruent products, while being adverse to extremely incongruent products. Evidence from three studies suggests that this phenomenon is highly influenced by a consumer's state of arousal. Specifically, low arousal decreases preference for moderate incongruity while increasing preference for extreme incongruity, whereas high arousal decreases preference for any form of incongruity. Underlying these effects are discrete emotional states brought on by a physiological response to incongruity. Varying arousal subsequently varies the severity of the emotion, be it negative (anxiety) or positive (curiosity), which in turn varies evaluations for the product. This suggests that creating excitement around a product launch may be good for incremental innovation, but it may not be a good idea for something truly innovative.

Suggested Citation

Noseworthy, Theodore and Di Muro, Fabrizio and Murray, Kyle B., The Role of Arousal in Congruity-Based Product Evaluation (September 5, 2014). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2691575

Theodore Noseworthy (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Fabrizio Di Muro

University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business ( email )

1151 Richmond Street North
London, Ontario N6A 3K7
Canada

Kyle B. Murray

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada
780-248-1091 (Phone)
780-492-4631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kylemurray.com

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