Special Session Summary Mixed Emotional Experiences: Reactions to Affective Reality

Aimee Drolet, UCLA
Loraine Lau-Gesk, University of Minnesota
[ to cite ]:
Aimee Drolet and Loraine Lau-Gesk (2003) ,"Special Session Summary Mixed Emotional Experiences: Reactions to Affective Reality", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 30, eds. Punam Anand Keller and Dennis W. Rook, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 289.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 30, 2003     Page 289

SPECIAL SESSION SUMMARY

MIXED EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES: REACTIONS TO AFFECTIVE REALITY

Aimee Drolet, UCLA

Loraine Lau-Gesk, University of Minnesota

Three papers were presented, each of which sought to understand how consumers respond to mixed emotions. The first two papers aimed to identify factors influencing the effectiveness of mixed emotional persuasive appeals. The paper by Williams and Aaker suggested that realism underlies the effectiveness of mixed emotional appeals. For example, results of one experiment showed that consumers with a higher versus lower propensity to accept duality perceived mixed emotional appeals to have higher levels of verisimilitude, and thus had more favorable attitudes toward the appeal. And, in two other experiments, consumers with a lower propensity to accept duality were made to perceive mixed emotional appeals as having high degrees of verisimilitude and in turn evaluated them more favorably.

Lau and Meyers-Levy argued that, alternatively, persuasion depends on the resources and goals consumers bring to bear when processing a mixed versus single emotional appeal. They examined the persuasiveness of a single (low resource demands) or mixed (high resource demands) emotion message when ambiguity inherent in the ad appeal’s visual elements defied processors’ attempts to confirm the emotion(s) discussed in the message. Under these conditions, they showed that the persuasiveness of the more resource demanding mixed emotion message was greater when the ad appeal’s visual and verbal elements were physically separated rather than integrated. Yet, they also showed that the persuasiveness of less resource demanding single emotion messages was relatively low and constant regardless of whether such ad elements were separated or integrated.

The third paper by Griffin, Drolet, and Aaker complemented the other two papers by examining consumer remembrance of mixed emotions. In one experiment, the authors found that memories of mixed emotions decay much more rapidly than that of pure emotions. In particular, memories of mixed emotions tended to become memories of pure emotions, and memories of pure emotions became even more polarized over time. In a second experiment, they explored more closely this process of the decay of mixed emotion memories. And, in a third experiment, they examined the extent to which individuals were aware of their tendency to redefine emotional events in more pure emotional terms.

The discussant, Michel Pham, synthesized the three papers and addressed their distinct contributions, as well as the contribution of the session as a whole in the light of additional work in psychology and consumer behavior that focuses on mixed emotions.

----------------------------------------