Emotion Specificity and Consumer Behavior: Anger, Sadness, and Preference for Activity

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Abstract

We examine the influence of two specific negative emotions (i.e., sadness and anger) on consumers’ preference for an advertised product promoting either activity (e.g., exercise) or passivity (e.g., relaxation). On the basis of empirical distinctions between the level of activation accompanying sadness and anger, and drawing upon a mood-as-information perspective, we hypothesized that individuals will have a preference for activity to passivity when in an angry compared to a sad emotional state. Thus, when angry, they preferred a product advertised as active, whereas when sad they preferred a product described in more passive terms.