Does Ambivalence Always Lead to Discomfort? a Self-Regulatory Perspective

While attitudinal ambivalence is usually perceived as uncomfortable, the existing evidence is mixed. The present research aims to resolve this inconsistency by suggesting a self-regulatory perspective on ambivalence-induced discomfort. We hypothesize that the affective consequences of attitudinal ambivalence depend on how the activity of holding opposing evaluations about a single object is represented in relation to the goal being pursued. When it is represented as inhibitory to goal attainment, consumers will experience psychological discomfort due to the discrepancy between the ambivalent and the desired states. Otherwise, no discomfort will be induced. Two studies showed support for the self-regulatory perspective.


Jun Pang and Hean Tat Keh (2011) ,"Does Ambivalence Always Lead to Discomfort? a Self-Regulatory Perspective", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 51-52.


Jun Pang, Renmin University of China, P.R.China
Hean Tat Keh, Peking University, P.R.China


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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