The Motivation-Emotion Matching Hypothesis

Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago, USA
Tal Eyal, Ben Gurion University, Israel
We propose a motivation-emotion matching hypothesis: for consumers facing a self-control conflict, abstract emotions (e.g., pride) monitor the pursuit of high-order goals, whereas concrete emotions (e.g., happiness) monitor the pursuit of low-order temptations. In support of this hypothesis, we find an implicit association between emotions and goals (study 1). As a result, consumers experience prolonged, abstract emotions following the pursuit of goals and short-lived, concrete emotions following the pursuit of temptations (studies 2-3). In addition, abstract emotional terms cue the pursuit of goals, whereas concrete emotional terms cue the pursuit of temptations (studies 4–5).
[ to cite ]:
Ayelet Fishbach and Tal Eyal (2010) ,"The Motivation-Emotion Matching Hypothesis", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 122-125 .