Uncertainty, Virtual Consumption, and Prolonged Happiness

Cheng Qiu, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Yih Hwai Lee, National University of Singapore, Singapore
People generally dislike uncertainty. However, recent research shows that uncertainty associated with positive events may actually prolong people’s happiness. The present research further suggests that whether an uncertain positive event (e.g., winning a lucky draw but not knowing the particular prize won) would lead to prolonged happiness depends on the amount of imagery thought elicited by the event. Positive moods would be sustained only when people can generate sufficient imagery thought about the various possibilities involved in the event. Results from three experiments lend support to the proposed mechanism underlying happiness prolongation following uncertain positive events.
[ to cite ]:
Cheng Qiu and Yih Hwai Lee (2007) ,"Uncertainty, Virtual Consumption, and Prolonged Happiness", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 650-749.