Do We Really Need a Reason to Indulge?

Jing Xu, University of Michigan, USA
Norbert Schwarz, University of Michigan, USA
Decisions to indulge oneself (e.g., purchasing luxuries, going on a cruise) may require legitimate reasons because hedonic indulgences may be construed as wasteful and are likely to evoke guilt. Our study shows that participants expect to experience more negative affect (e.g., guilt) if consuming a hedonic item without a reason than with a reason when asked in a global report fashion (e.g., “How would you feel consuming this item?”). Other participants were asked to report on how they felt during the last consumption episode. Their hedonic enjoyment was unrelated to reasons and justifications. This suggests that a lack of justification does not limit the immediate pleasure of indulging, in contrast to what consumers expect.
[ to cite ]:
Jing Xu and Norbert Schwarz (2007) ,"Do We Really Need a Reason to Indulge?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 456-458.