Promoting Consumption Experiences by Positive Incidental Affect: The Interplay of Valence and Arousal in Incidental Affect Infusion Processes

Posted: 25 May 2018

See all articles by Aiqing Ling

Aiqing Ling

INSEAD

Nathalie George

GSRL (CNRS-EPHE Sorbonne)

Baba Shiv

Stanford University - Stanford Graduate School of Business

Hilke Plassmann

INSEAD

Date Written: May 25, 2018

Abstract

Much research in consumer psychology has investigated how affective reactions unrelated to a decision at hand (i.e., incidental affect) influence consumers’ preconsumption preferences. Most of this research has approximated the incidental affect through its valence or induced action tendency while largely neglecting to delve into the role of arousal during the affect infusion process. This research investigated how valence and arousal triggered by incidental affect inducers interact and influence consumers’ consumption experiences. In a set of three multimethod studies combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), skin conductance recording, facial affective recording, and traditional behavioral approaches, positive incidental affect, manipulated by different affect inducers (i.e., winning money and viewing positive highly arousing images), influenced consumption experiences across different sensory domains of consumption (i.e., gustatory, visual, and auditory). Tracking moment-based changes of affective states at the neurophysiological level and directly and independently manipulating the valence and arousal of incidental affect revealed that the valence of incidental affect mediates consumers’ reported enjoyment of consuming different products and that the mediation of valence is facilitated by the arousal dimension of the incidental affect.

Keywords: Consumption Experiences, Incidental Affect Infusion, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Skin Conductance, Automated Facial Affect Analysis, Open Science

Suggested Citation

Ling, Aiqing and George, Nathalie and Shiv, Baba and Plassmann, Hilke, Promoting Consumption Experiences by Positive Incidental Affect: The Interplay of Valence and Arousal in Incidental Affect Infusion Processes (May 25, 2018). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2018/19/MKT; Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 18-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3184753

Aiqing Ling

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Nathalie George

GSRL (CNRS-EPHE Sorbonne) ( email )

59-61, rue Pouchet
Paris, 75849
France

Baba Shiv

Stanford University - Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Hilke Plassmann (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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