Putting More Emotion Into Consumer Research: Integrating Emotional/Hedonic Experience With Traditional Attitude Models

Chris T. Allen, University of Cincinnati
[ to cite ]:
Chris T. Allen (1993) ,"Putting More Emotion Into Consumer Research: Integrating Emotional/Hedonic Experience With Traditional Attitude Models", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, eds. Leigh McAlister and Michael L. Rothschild, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 314.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, 1993      Page 314


Chris T. Allen, University of Cincinnati

Outside of advertising studies, consumer researchers' response to Holbrook and Hirschman's (1982) call for more explicit consideration of emotional phenomena has been limited. Indeed, as Cohen and Areni (1991) note, "the ability of purchase settings, consumption experiences, and want satisfaction episodes to elicit affectively-charged states is just beginning to come under systematic study" (p. 204). The goal of this special session was to examine one concrete direction for accelerating the integration of emotive phenomena into consumer research. This direction entails an attempted merger of feeling and emotive constructs with traditional attitude models. All presenters used a model proposed by Zanna and Rempel (1988) as a common point of reference.

Geoffrey Haddock presented empirical work which applied the Zanna/Rempel model in the domain of prejudicial attitudes. This research also explored the possibility that there are individual differences in the tendency to use emotive versus cognitive information as the bases for one's attitudes. This person trait was gauged with a new scale referred to as the Feeling-Belief measure. The Zanna/Rempel model received empirical support in the sense that reported emotions did account for variance in subjects' evaluative judgements beyond that accounted for by their beliefs. In addition, the relative importance of emotion versus cognition in predicting prejudicial attitudes was moderated by subjects' scores on the Feeling-Belief measure.

Chris Allen depicted the Zanna/Rempel framework as a direct extension of the Fishbein/Ajzen attitude model. Tests of hypotheses derived from this merger of theoretical frameworks were presented. Following Zanna and Rempel, the data supported the hypothesis that individuals' recollections about emotive experiences will provide substantive prediction of attitude beyond that which is furnished by traditional cognitive considerations. Additionally, in an extension of the Zanna/Rempel theorizing, results showed that emotive reports can provide prediction of actual behavior that is not mediated by attitude. It was concluded that individuals have access to information about their emotive episodes that is underrepresented by traditional constructs in the Fishbein/Ajzen model.

The third presentation was made by Rajeev Batra. He briefly reviewed several empirical studies as a basis for critiquing the Zanna/Rempel model. His primary themes involved concern about the appropriateness of treating attitude as a unidimensional, evaluative judgment, and a concern about the lack of a motivational, conative component in the Zanna/Rempel model. An alternative model was suggested which included beliefs regarding utilitarian versus hedonic attributes, emotive experience, and degree of action tendency, as four possible antecedents of behavioral intention. As was true for all the presentations, Batra suggested a variety of research questions that represent concrete opportunities for accelerating the integration of emotional considerations into consumer research.


Cohen, Joel B. and Charles S. Areni (1991), "Affect and Consumer Behavior," in Handbook of Consumer Behavior, eds. Thomas S. Robertson and Harold H. Kassarjian, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 188-240.

Holbrook, Morris B. and Elizabeth C. Hirschman (1982), "The Experiential Aspects of Consumption: Consumer Fantasies, Feelings, and Fun," Journal of Consumer Research, 9 (September), 132-140.

Zanna, Mark P. and John K. Rempel (1988), "Attitudes: A New Look at an Old Concept," in The Social Psychology of Knowledge, eds. Daniel Bar-Tal and Arie Kruglanski, New York: Cambridge University Press, 315-334.