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The Pleasure of Assessing and Expressing Our Likes and Dislikes

Daniel He, Shiri Melumad, Michel Tuan Pham, Vicki G MorwitzEditor, Amna KirmaniEditor and Chris JaniszewskiAssociate Editor

Journal of Consumer Research, 2019, vol. 46, issue 3, 545-563

Abstract: Although consumer behavior theory has traditionally regarded evaluations as instrumental to consumer choice, in reality consumers often assess and express what they like and dislike even when there is no decision at stake. Why are consumers so eager to express their evaluations when there is no ostensible purpose for doing so? In this research, we advance the thesis that this is because consumers derive an inherent pleasure from assessing and expressing their likes and dislikes. In support of this thesis, the results of seven studies show that compared to a variety of simple and commonplace control judgments, assessing and expressing one’s likes and dislikes results in greater task enjoyment. This occurs because externalizing one’s evaluations enables a form of self-expression that appears to be deep and global. These findings have important implications for marketers and policy makers.

Keywords: evaluation; browsing; attitudes; affect; self-expression; hedonics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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