Special Session Summary Capturing the Dynamics of Consumption Emotions Experienced During Extended Service Encounters

Laurette DubT, McGill University
Michael S. Morgan, Cornell University
[ to cite ]:
Laurette DubT and Michael S. Morgan (1996) ,"Special Session Summary Capturing the Dynamics of Consumption Emotions Experienced During Extended Service Encounters", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 23, eds. Kim P. Corfman and John G. Lynch Jr., Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 395-396.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 23, 1996      Pages 395-396

SPECIAL SESSION SUMMARY

CAPTURING THE DYNAMICS OF CONSUMPTION EMOTIONS EXPERIENCED DURING EXTENDED SERVICE ENCOUNTERS

Laurette DubT, McGill University

Michael S. Morgan, Cornell University

The session brought together researchers who have used a rich diversity of conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches in their work on dynamic aspects of consumption emotions in extended service encounters. Presenters have developed innovative ways to measure and model the pattern of changes in emotional experience over time, to identify moderators of these in-process trends and their relationship with post-consumption judgments and behaviors.

In the first presentation, Price, Arnould, and Hausman, have used qualitative research methods to unravel the themes that dominate consumption experience in extended service encounters. Their results describe how the nature and intensity of consumption emotions evolve over time during the extended service encounter. They show how emergent relationships between service providers and customers and other key elements such as the physical and social setting moderate emotional responses to the service experience.

In the second presentation, Eliashberg and Sawhney introduce a theory-driven mathematical modeling approach to the dynamics of hedonic consumption experiences and use it for predicting individual differences in the enjoyment of a movie. Their results suggest that consumers' enjoyment may be largely determined by the interaction between individual characteristics and the emotional content of the movie. Based on simulation analyses, they show that individuals presenting different emotional predispositions (e.g., sensation seeking characteristic) express a different pattern of responses in the process of viewing movies, this effect being dependent upon the emotional content of the movie.

The third presenters, DubT and Morgan, propose that the pattern of changes in consumption emotions during extended service encounters contribute to retrospective global judgments, over and above effects due to specific levels of emotional instances. They also suggest that one's ability and motivation to manage emotions during the service delivery process may influence the strength of trend effects in retrospective judgments. They propose that gender is a primary moderator of trend effects based on the abundance of empirical evidence showing that men and women vary a great deal in how they experience, express and manage emotions. These predictions were supported in two field studies that involve different conceptualizations of emotions and use service settings varying in terms of duration and affective expectations.

Finally, the discussant, Doug Stayman highlights the necessity, for future research, of studying the dynamics of both affective and cognitive aspects of extended service encounters. Service managers and marketers will benefit from a deeper understanding of how both set of factors shape consumption experience. This will help to more precisely segment markets and to more effectively fine-tune service design and communications.

USING PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION TO UNRAVEL EMOTIONAL MOMENTS OF EXTENDED SERVICE ENCOUNTERS

Linda L. Price, Eric J. Arnould, and Angela Hausman

This research profiles patterns of change in emotional experiences over the course of an extended service encounter. It illustrates a social constructivist approach to emotions, and emphasizes the active role of providers and customers in evoking "feeling rules" that channel the expression of emotion. The research builds on our previous research on extended service encounters, here focusing on the emotional dimension rather than temporal duration or proxemic relationships.

Participant observation (p.o.) provides the primary source of data, supplemented by in-depth interviews, and multi-stage surveys. P.o.'s traditional strengthsCaccess to naturally occurring emotions unfolding in real time, access to multiple participants' experiences and to the interaction of multiple participantsCexpose the complex emotional and behavioral details of the service encounter, including interactive and relational elements that contribute to the emotional experience. As compared to other techniques for assessing emotional experience, p.o. connects felt emotions with their behavioral expression, and allows felt emotions, including dissonant ones, to be assessed in temporal, physical, and social context.

The research reported here deals with an extended single incident service encounter in a wilderness setting (white water river rafting). Results describe the unfolding of emotional experience and show how emergent relationships between service providers and customers and other key elements such as the physical and social setting moderate emotional responses to the service experience. Findings show that there is a predictable rhythm to the emotional experience: residual stress, confusion, anxiety, and excitement on day one of the trip yielded to relaxation, flow, excitement and affection on day three. Day four emphasizes aesthetic pleasure and feelings of love, warmth and affection. The last day is marked by exhilaration and calm relaxation, but also feelings of sadness, regret and the stress of reentry into everyday life. Thoughout we illustrate the social channeling and construction of emotions by both customers and guides.

Findings of the study contribute to the emerging literature on relationship marketing and complement research employing dynamic process models of service quality and service satisfaction by focusing on the temporal enactment and interpretation of emotions.

DYNAMIC MODELING OF HEDONIC CONSUMPTION EXPERIENCES

Jehoshua Eliashberg and Mohanbir S. Sawhney

This research builds upon the experiential view of consumer behavior to develop an innovative modeling approach to studying the dynamics of hedonic consumption. In this paper, we present a conceptual framework as well as a mathematical model for describing and predicting the determinants of individual differences in the enjoyment of hedonic consumption experiences. We apply this framework to the context of movie viewing experience.

The conceptual framework proposes that the enjoyment of the experience is an outcome of the dynamic interaction between stable individual difference factors, temporary moods, and the emotional content of the experience. We model the interaction between the temporary moods of an individual and the emotional content of the movie as a stochastic process. The interaction determines the individual's instantaneous emotional states. We develop analytical expressions for the dynamic evolution of the probability distribution of the levels of achieved emotional stimulation, and, through individual difference factors, the expected enjoyment. All measurements are taken prior to watching the movie. We use these measurements to predict individual differences in the ex-post enjoyment of the movie. We present an empirical test of the model. Encouraging results are found at the individual and segment level. Results show that individuals varying on the personal characteristic of Sensation Seeking manifest a different pattern of emotional responses in the process of viewing movies, and this effect interact with the emotional content of the movie. Methodological and managerial implications are presented. We demonstrate the usefulness of the modeling methodology to formalize, model, measure and predict the dynamics of emotional response during hedonic consumption. Our approach also has the potential for aiding in segmentation and targeting decisions for a new experiential product, by studying the sensitivity of the enjoyment model to different Sensation Seeking segment profiles, and identifying segments that would be most responsive to the product. Future research is discussed.

TREND EFFECTS AND GENDER DIFFERENCES IN RETROSPECTIVE JUDGMENTS OF CONSUMPTION EMOTIONS IN EXTENDED SERVICE ENCOUNTERS

Laurette DubT and Michael S. Morgan

In this research, we propose that the pattern of changes in consumption emotions during extended service encounters contributes to retrospective global judgments over and above effects due to specific levels of emotional instances. We also suggest that one's ability and motivation to manage emotions during the service delivery process may influence the strength of trend effects in retrospective judgments. We propose that gender is a primary moderator of trend effects based on the abundance of empirical evidence showing that men and women vary a great deal in how they experience, express and manage emotions.

We report the results of two field studies that involve different conceptualizations of emotions (basic dimensions of positive and negative emotions, Watson, Clark, and Tellegen 1988; specific consumption emotions, Mano and Oliver 1993) and use service settings varying in terms of duration and affective expectations (hospitals, college meal plans).

In both studies, subjects reported instances of consumption emotions on a daily basis and retrospective global judgments of these emotions. First-day reports and average daily percentage of changes were used as predictors of retrospective judgments of consumption emotions. Retrospective global judgments were a positive function of the increase or decrease of instances of emotions over time. Consistently with predictions based on the literature on gender differences in emotions, men's retrospective judgments of positive emotions were highly sensitive to trend effects, with no trend effect for negative emotions. In contrast, women demonstrated trend effects in judgments of a more diversified set of emotions. Theoretical and managerial implications of the results as well as future research are discussed.

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