Understanding the Psychology of Mood-Alleviative Consumption: a Control Theoretic Perspective



Citation:

Harri T. Luomala and Philip E. Lewis (2002) ,"Understanding the Psychology of Mood-Alleviative Consumption: a Control Theoretic Perspective", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, eds. Ramizwick and Tu Ping, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 73-79.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5, 2002      Pages 73-79

UNDERSTANDING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MOOD-ALLEVIATIVE CONSUMPTION: A CONTROL THEORETIC PERSPECTIVE

Harri T. Luomala, University of Vaasa, Finland

Philip E. Lewis, University of Vaasa, Finland

In consumer research, it has not been usual to explicitly consider the relationship between self-regulation of negative moods and consumption. This is particularly true at the conceptual level. As a consequence, a need for theory-building research is obvious. It is argued in this paper that a control theoretic perspective forms one of the most promising starting points in conceptualizing mood-alleviative consumption. In an attempt to advance consumer behavior theory development, a control theoretic framework of mood-alleviative consumption is constructed. In applying the control theory, certain theoretical ideas and concepts are borrowed from the schema theory as well. A major implication for consumer research is that the multitude of different goals and processes operating at different behavioral levels needs to be richly delineated and analyzed before a good understanding of mood-alleviative consumption can be reached. Another implication is that the dynamics involved should be considered, for instance, how are different consumers’ mood-alleviative consumption scripts generated, modified, and abandoned.

Theoretic Perspective

Consumption in one form or another is a major mood-alleviative device in modern western societies (cf. Gould 1991; Kacen 1994; Luomala and Laaksonen 1999). In consumer research, it has not been usual to explicitly consider the relationship between self-regulation of negative moods and consumer behavior (cf. McKeage 1992; Luomala 1998). This is particularly true at the conceptual level. Thus, there is not a solid theoretical base formed by past studies on which research concerning mood-alleviative consumption could be grounded. As a consequence, a need for theory-building research is obvious.

One alternative in advancing theory-building in this area is to look for a theoretical perspective which is compatible with the basic nature of the research phenomenon. After finding this kind of theoretical perspective, it can be utilized as an instrument for understanding and explaining the phenomenon of mood-alleviative consumption. It is argued in this paper that a control theoretic perspective forms one of the most promising starting points in conceptualizing mood-alleviative consumption.

On the basis of the preceding discussion, one main objective can be set for this paper. It is to develop an understanding of the psychology of mood-alleviative consumption in terms of control theory. The paper seeks to advance consumer behavior theory development by viewing mood-alleviative consumption from a control theoretic perspective. Engaging in this kind of intellectual exercise represents an untrodden path in our field so far.

This paper is structured in the following way. In the first section, the key principles on control theory are introduced. In the second section, a control theoretic framework of mood-alleviative consumption is constructed. The article is concluded by a discussion highlighting theoretical and managerial implications and suggestions for further research.

KEY PRINCIPLES OF CONTROL THEORY

In contemporary psychology, key persons advancing control theoretic thinking have been Charles Carver and Michael Scheier. Next, the most important principles of control theory are briefly presented.

One of the most important premises of the control theory is that it assumes that human behavior is usually goal-directed. In the words of Carver and Scheier (1990b, p. 3) "...human behavior is a continual process of moving toward various kinds of mental goal representations...this movement occurs by a process of feedback control." Goals can exist at several levels of abstraction (Scheier and Carver 1982). This intriguing issue will be tackled shortly.

Another essential background assumption of the control theory is the notion that people impose order on their experiences, based on regularities that they encounter across time and events. This order takes the form of a schematic organization in memory. Once schemas have been developed, they are used to recognize, understand, and interpret newly encountered objects and events, and to make predictions regarding future events. Cognitive structures can also be used as a prescription for action. (Carver and Scheier 1990b, p. 4)

According to the control theory, behavioral goals can be elicited in two ways. First, in the course of day-to-day affairs many actions involve a sort of on-the-spur-of-the-moment mediation, being evoked by the simple process of activation of schemas in memory, through appraisals of situations and persons. Second, behavioral goals may become active through the conscious development of intentions. (Carver and Scheier 1990b, p. 5) Regarding the dichotomy of the activation of behavioral goals, two classes of action can be distinguished: those that are intentional, effortful, and consciously mediated and those that are automatic. The control theory focuses on conscious and effortful self-regulatory action.

The main reason why the control theory concentrates on conscious and effortful action is its first principle: the operation of the negative feedback loop. The functioning of the negative feedback loop encompasses people periodically noting the qualities they are expressing in their behaviors (an input function). They compare these perceptions with salient reference valuesBwhatever goals are temporarily used to guide behavior. If comparisons indicate discrepancies between reference values and present state, people adjust behavior (an output function) so that it more closely approximates the reference value. (Carver and Scheier 1990a, p. 19)

The output function has an influence only by making an impact on the system’s environment (or in the present context, on a person’s psychological state). When the output function has an impact on the environment, the result is a different state of affairs than had existed before the behavior took place. This causes, in turn, a change in the perception of the present situation (input function). Outside of the loop, environmental disturbances can influence its functioning. They reflect the existence of a continually changing environment and can alter the existing state of the system. The system as a whole has only one goal: to minimize any discernible discrepancy between current actions and the behavioral reference value. (Carver and Scheier 1982, pp. 95B97).

The second principle of the control theory is the notion that behavior is organized hierarchically, that is, several negative feedback loops at different levels operate simultaneously. The output of the superordinate loop is not behavior per se. Rather, the higher-order loop operates by specifying a reference value related to qualities of behavior for the loop immediately subordinate to it. In other words, the behavioral output for one loop is the reference value for the other. That next-level loop, in turn, attempts to match its reference value by resetting standards one level lower in the hierarchy. Movement downward through the hierarchy entails more and more restricted aspects or qualities of behavior being specified and controlled. (Scheier and Carver 1982) Carver and Scheier (1990a, 1990b) distinguish between four behavioral levels of which the three highest levels are paid attention to in the following main section.

A CONTROL THEORETIC FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MOOD-ALLEVIATIVE CONSUMPTION

The first (negative feedback loop) and second (hierarchical organization of behavior) control theoretic principles in the case of mood-alleviative consumption are treated jointly here, because they are interconnected. The three hghest hierarchical levels of behavior and their respective negative feedback loops are in focus here. These three levels were deemed as psychologically most interesting (cf. Carver and Scheier 1990b, p. 14).

The System Level

According to Carver and Scheier (1990a, 1990b), reference values or goals used at this level are quite global and hazy. In the case of mood-alleviative consumption, the goal at the system level is postulated to be the general psychoemotional well-being of self. In psychology, it is not uncommon to assume that equilibration or homeostasis is one of the main motivational mechanisms of human behavior (cf. Bandura 1991; Schaller and Cialdini 1991). The arousal of negative moods is assumed to activate this goal. After the goal activation, the negative feedback loop begins to function. The functioning of the negative feedback loop at the system level involves four phases.

First, a comparator detects the existence of a discrepancy between the present and referential states (cf. Miller, Galanter, and Pribram 1960). In other words, the existence of a negative mood state is incompatible with the goal of the general psychoemotional well-being of self. Discrepancy detection leads to the second phase in the functioning of the negative feedback loop. The second phase in the operation of the loop is the formation of an aspiration to regain the psychoemotional well-being of self (output function). The general aversiveness of negative mood experiences is a facilitating factor in the aspiration formation. This phase possesses motivational significance.

As regards the third phase, Carver and Scheier (1990a, 1990b) postulate that the output function has an impact on the environment of the system. Somewhat differently, it is assumed here that the output function has an impact on the state of the system itself, that is, self. To be more specific, the formation of an aspiration to psychoemotional well-being has a potential impact on the psychoemotional well-being of self.

The fourth phase in the operation of the negative feedback loop at the system level is the perception of the meeting of, or progress toward, the goal of the general psychoemotional well-being of self (input function). This perception serves as new information when the comparator recompares the sensed present state against the referential state. If the comparator detects that the goal is met, the control process comes to a halt. If the comparator detects that the discrepancy still exists, the control process proceeds to the principle level.

The Principle Level

According to the control theory (Carver and Scheier 1990a, 1990b), the output function of the superordinate loop specifies the goal for the loop immediately subordinate to it. At the principle level, the reference values involve abstract aspects of behavior; they are not specifications of acts, but of qualities that can be manifested in many acts. Since in the case of mood-alleviative consumption the output function of the system level loop is the aspiration to te psychoemotional well-being of self, it serves as the reference value for the principle level loop. The reference value at the principle level is activated by the transfer of control from the system level loop. The activation of the goal initiates the operation of the negative feedback loop. The operation of the negative feedback loop at the principle level involves four phases.

In the first phase, a comparator detects the existence of a discrepancy. It detects that the goal of the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self is not being attained because the guiding principle in the goal realization process has not concretized yet. In the second phase, steps (even though they are not yet behaviorally concrete) are taken to realize (the goal of) the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self (output function). It is posited here that at the principle level of mood-alleviative consumption, the instantiation of a schema for self-regulating negative moods is instrumental in this goal realization. In other words, it serves as an output function.

The principle that guides the functioning of the loop may be verbalized as: avoid being in a negative mood. We are aware of the fact that sometimes people may actually want to maintain a negative mood for various reasons (Parrott 1993). Still, we do not see any contradiction between the system level goal of psychoemotional well-being of self and the principle level goal of maintaining a negative mood because the situation in which a negative moods is maintained the psychoemotional well-being of self is defined not by psychological homeostasis, but by some psychological benefits that are associated with maintaining a negative mood (e.g. heightened motivation or analytical problem solving capabilities).

As such, the abstract principle of avoiding being in a negative mood resembles schemas. Schemas are abstract representations of environmental regularities (Mandler 1982, p. 16; Crockett 1988, p. 33). Schemas are built up in the course of interaction with the environment. So, they are representations of experience that guide action, perception, and thought. (Mandler 1982, pp. 3, 18) The schemas and their instantiations must be conceptually distinguished. The schema is the abstract pattern of elements and relations that characterizes the concept (Crockett 1988, p. 34). In turn, an instantiated schema is a cognitive structure that results from the interaction of the old information of generic schemas and the new information from episodic input (Brewer and Nakamura 1984, p. 141). In other words, the instantiation of a schema occurs when the pattern of elements and relations embedded in the schema is objectified in an object, event, or person that is encountered (cf. Crockett 1988, p. 34). Schemas are developed and modified as a function of the frequency of encounters with relevant instantiations. New encounters are evaluated against existing schemas, and the interaction between an encounter and a schema underlies the thinking and behavior in that particular encounter (cf. Mandler 1982, p.3).

It is presumed that people have acquired high-order and abstract schemas for self-regulating negative moods through prior repeated negative mood and self-regulatory experiences. These schemas are the mental representations of the principle "avoid being in a negative mood" in that they contain generic knowledge about the concepts (objects, events, persons) and categories of activities that are related to self-regulation of negative moods.

While the mood-alleviative motive was created at the system level, at the principle level the instantiation of the mood-alleviative schemas triggers a planning process (cf. Miller et al. 1960; Barsalou and Hutchinson 1987; Crockett 1988, p. 38). Even though the schema instantiation is presumed to begin automatically, the planning process it triggers is of conscious and deliberate in character. The schema is not wholly instantiated until the planning process is completed.

The planning process revolves around the question how to realize the principle (goal): avoid being in a negative mood. According to Berger (1988, pp. 95B96, cf. also Millr et al. 1960; Schank and Abelson 1977), the planning process is characterized by four features. First, in planning, the desire to achieve goals motivates the fabrication of plans. Second, planning consists of thinking of series of actions that can be performed to achieve goals. Third, the knowledge underlying the planning process is of a general nature (cf. schemas). Fourth, planning involves choice. In other words, the planning process is a mental exercise taking place at the principle level. The devised plans are not yet behaviorally concrete, since planning does not involve implementing the chosen courses of action at the principle level.

The third phase in the functioning of the loop at the principle level is the potential impact of the schema instantiation and planning process on the psychoemotional well-being of self. The final, fourth, phase in the functioning of the loop at this level is the perception of the meeting of, or progress toward, the goal of general psychoemotional well-being of self. The comparator processes this perceptual input and if a discrepancy is not detected, the control process is stopped. However, if a discrepancy is still detected, the control process moves ahead to the program level.

THE PROGRAM LEVEL

The program level is the behaviorally concrete level. Relying on Carver and Scheier’s (1990a, 1990b) control theory, the output function of the superordinate loop specifies the reference value for the subordinate loop. Thus, in the case of mood-alleviative consumption, the reference value of the program level loop is the completion of the instantiation of the schema for self-regulating negative moods. In effect, the shift of control from the principle level loop activates the reference value at the program level. This goal activation initiates the functioning of the negative feedback loop. As in the cases of the system and principle level loops, the functioning of the program level loop involves four phases.

In the first phase of the functioning of the loop, the comparator detects the existence of a discrepancy. It detects that the goal of the instantiation of the schema for self-regulating negative moods is not being attained, because the schema instantiation is not complete until the planned course of action is implemented. In the second phase, the implementation of the schema-based plans serves as the output function. At the program level, concrete behavior is realized. The plan implementation is considered to be instrumental in the completion of the schema instantiation process. This paper postulates that at the program level of mood-alleviative consumption, the schema instantiation (and plan implementation) is completed by the instantiation of mood-alleviative consumption scripts. The scripts (and their instantiation) are assumed to be in an important position in the schema instantiation and plan implementation due to certain conceptual features of them. A script is a subtype of schema. For example, Anderson (1985, p.130) refers to scripts as action schemas. There seems to prevail a fair agreement as far as the meaning of the script concept is concerned. Often, four features of scripts are mentioned: sequentiality, context-boundness, role of expectations in script instantiation, and script-goal linkage. The last three conceptual features of scripts justify their central role in the functioning of the program level loop.

There exist different types of scripts. According to Gioia and Manz (1985, p. 530), generic scripts can be diferentiated from episodic and categorical scripts. The episodic scripts are elemental and retained as a context-specific remembrance of a single experience. The categorical scripts are collections of episodic scripts. They are appropriate for a relatively narrow class of situations. The generic scripts are abstracted across contexts and serve to guide behavior in a range of related situations.

Whereas prior research has mainly tackled the tactical and habitual use of the episodic and categorical scripts, the strategic and adaptive use of the generic scripts is more relevant in the present research context. The flexible and adaptive use of scripts has become accepted (e.g., Showers and Cantor 1985; Stoltman, Trapp, and Lapidus 1989). For instance, Showers and Cantor (1985, p. 288) assert that people may choose strategies (generic scripts) designed to maintain or alter a mood, thereby exerting flexible control over mood effects. The generic scripts are knowledge structures that provide meaning for typical situations and provide typical activities to fit those situations. In the mood-alleviative consumption context, they represent mini-theories about "what to do to self-regulate negative moods", including generic activities and the rules for combining them. (cf. Leigh and McGraw 1989, p. 18)

According to Leigh and McGraw (1989, p. 18), the generic scripts are strategic in that they define generic norms or expectations, including general objectives and activities, allowing for ranges of behavior. This being the case, the generic scripts are important in the planning process, because they provide the planner with alternative courses for action in different circumstances. When the planning process is engaged in, the generic scripts for mood-alleviative consumption are activated. These scripts contain information concerning the alternative acts of consumption that can be used for self-regulating negative moods in the situation in question. As a matter of fact, it can be assumed that the generic scripts for consumption acts are instantiated to self-regulate particular negative mood states. Furthermore, self-regulation of qualitatively different negative moods is postulated to be associated with particular patterns of consumption acts specified by the generic scripts. Thus, a strong case for the existence of affect-driven scripts is made here (Gioia and Manz 1985, p. 530; Crockett 1988, p. 44)

Getting back to the functioning of the negative feedback loop at the program level, the second phase is completed by the instantiation of mood-alleviative consumption scripts. Both the schema instantiation and planning process are also completed when the actor selects and executes mood-alleviative consumption act(s) specified by the generic scripts (output function). Even though it is traditionally held that at least the episodic scripts are instantiated automatically, the generic scripts can be instantiated consciously as well (recall that the planning process was postulated to be deliberate). For example, Gioia and Manz (1985, p. 529) assert that people often consciously develop and monitor their scripts in a purposeful mannerBto satisfy their needs, preferences, or self-interests or simply to create desirable impressions (illustrations of script instantiations).

The third phase in the functioning of the negative feedback loop at the program level is the potential impact of the script instantiation on the psychoemotional well-being of self. At the program level, the fourth phase in the operation of the negative feedback loop involves the perception of the meeting of, or progress toward, the goal regaining the psychoemotional well-being of self. The comparator processes this perceptual input and if a discrepancy is not detected, the control process is halted. If a discrepancy is still there, mood-alleviative consumption acts that are based on generic scripts are executed till the discrepancy is removed or a heuristic stop rule is used. In the present context, an illustration of such heuristic stop rule could be: "Try certain consumer behavior twice. If it does not help, then stop".

The Synthesis

An integration of different behavioral levels involved in mood-alleviative consumption is presented in Figure 1. The figure outlines how the control process in the case of mood-alleviative consumption proceeds. It is worthwhile noting that the control process may not always be as smooth as is postulated by the figure (e.g. troubled goal pursuits and outside influences).

The arousal of negative mood activates the control process. The existence of a negative mood state implies the existence of a discrepancy at the system level: the psychoemotional well-being of self is not a fact. Something must be done to regain the psychoemotional well-being of self. At the system level, this something (output function) is the formation of an aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self.

The formation of the aspiration may have an effect on the psychoemotional well-being or state of self. On the other hand, the mere formation of the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self is most likely to be insufficient to influence (or change) the psychoemotional well-being or state of self. If this is true, then the system level loop cannot totally reduce the sensed discrepancy, because progress is not being made toward the goal (input function). In other words, the discrepancy continues to exist. Thus, the control is transferred to the principle level.

The realization of the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self serves as the reference value or goal at the principle level. It is activated by the transfer of the control from the system level loop. The comparator of the loop of the principle level detects the discrepancy: the realization of the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self is not a fact. In the service of attaining this goal, a schema for self-regulating negative moods is instantiated. At this stage of the process, the schema instantiation has two potential influences.

The first potential influence is the impact of the schema-triggered planning process on realizing the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self (principle level influence). Planning (what to do in order to self-regulate a negative mood) as a mental and imaginary process may have the capability to alleviate the felt negative mood (cf. Wegner and Pennebaker 1990; Phillips, Olson, and Baumgartner 1995). When the planning process is deliberately engaged in as a means to alleviative a negative mood, it may really realize the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self. For instance, visualizing oneself in a desirable consumption situation, indulging in imaginative trips or consumption fantasies are illustrations of this kind of planning process. If this occurs, the discrepancy disappears from the principle level. If this is an effective mood-alleviative tactic, then the psychoemotional well-being of self is positively affected as well (the second potential influence), that is, the psychoemotional homeostasis is reached (the neutralization of a negative mood) at the system level, and the control process stops functioning.

However, it is not presumed to be usual that this kind of planning process would realize both the principle and system level goals. It may often happen that the planning process referred to above is not effective in alleviating a negative mood. Considering this state of affairs, the principle level goal is attained (the realization of the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self), but the discrepancy does not vanish from the system level (a negative mood is not alleviated), and the control is transferred to the principle level again. Consequently, another mental maneuver may or may not be resorted to. In any case, if mental maneuvers are abandoned as a mood-alleviative vehicle, then the control is transferred to the program level. Of course, the control is directly transferred to the program level when the planning process is just a preceding stage in executing actual acts of mood-alleviative consumption.

The goal or reference value of the program level loop is the output function of the principle level loop, that is, the completion of instantiation of the schema for self-regulating negative moods. It is activated by the transfer of control from the principle level loop. The program level loop is initiated by the perception of the comparator that the complete instantiation of the schema is not a fact. Something that is instrumental to this end must be done. Both the schema instantiation and planning process (plan implementation) can be completed by instantiating mood-alleviative consumption scripts: in other words, by executing concrete acts of mood-alleviative consumption.

Thus, the instantiation of consumption scripts has three potential influences. At the program level, the instantiation of mood-alleviative consumption scripts has an impact on the instantiation of the schema for self-regulating negative moods by completing it (the first potential influence). The second potential influence is the realization of the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self as a result of the complete schema instantiation (principle level influence). The third potential influence includes the impact on the psychoemotional well-being of self as a result of the schema instantiation and aspiration realization (system level influence).

Put differently, it is assumed that the completion of the instantiation of mood-alleviative consumption scripts serves as the simultaneous input information not only for the program level loop, but for the system and principle level loops as well. If the instantiation of mood-alleviative consumption scripts is perceived to complete the schema instantiation, the discrepancy is removed from the program level. In turn, if the completion of the schema instantiation is perceived to realize the aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self, the discrepancy is eliminated from the principle level. Finally, if the realization of aspiration to the psychoemotional well-being of self is perceived to change the psychoemotional state of self (mood swing for the better), the discrepancy is reduced at the system level too. The ultimate consequence of this is the conclusion of the control process and the alleviation of negative mood through acts of consumption.

DISCUSSION

The preceding theoretical discussion raises many issues worth considering in future research. As implied earlier, the psychological process behind mood-alleviative consumption is not always as smooth as Figure 1 depicts. There are, of course, many external factors and moderators that affect the extent to which mood-alleviative consumption acts (or scripts) are engaged in. For example, psychographic and demographic variables are factors that partially explain the individual differences in the way the psychological process goes about. Another example of the complicating factors in the psychological process is the degree of sophistication and the availability of the supply. It is likely that the forms and intensity of mood-alleviative consumption acts differ in rural areas vs. small cities vs. big cities.

The possibility that qualitatively different negative moods entail (partially or totally) separate consumption script storages deserves scientific attention from consumer researchers. Beyond establishing general linkages between mood-alleviation and consumption, individual mood-alleviative consumption scripts must be rigorously and richly delineated and analyzed. If this goal is to be achieved, consumers’ knowledge structures must be paid attention to. Methodological approaches that are able to measure the knowledge structures of ordinary consumers are demanded. For instance, the approach offered by Kearney and Kaplan (1997) appears promising in developing a structural framework facilitating a content analysis of distinct mood-alleviative consumption scripts.

FIGURE 1

A CONTROL THEORETIC FRAMEWORK OF MOOD-ALLEVIATIVE CONSUMPTION

Consumers may differ in terms of what kind of storages of mood-alleviative scripts they have. For instance, a person who engages in very few and personally uninvolving mood-alleviative consumption acts, could possess an "empty" storage. In practice, this person does not use consumption to alleviate negative moods. On the other hand, a person who engages in multiple but still personally uninvolving mood-alleviative acts of consumption could have an "extensive" storage of mood-alleviative consumption scripts. This person has a wide repertoire of mood-alleviative consumption acts to resort to on different occasions. However, these acts do not relate to issues of high personal interest. A "focused" storage of mood-alleviative consumption scripts would belong to a person who engages in few but personally involving mood-alleviative consumption acts. For example, a heavy expert consumer of music and movies could possess this kind of script storage. He or she may use different types of music and movies to tackle different negative moods. Lastly, a person who engages in multiple and personally involving mood-alleviative consumption acts could have an "elaborated" storage of mood-alleviative consumption scripts. Thus, this person could be classified as an intensively consumption-oriented mood-alleviator. Whether these speculations really hold is an interesting empirical question.

Managerially, the issue of influencing development and triggering of mood-alleviative consumption scripts is of great importance. Traditionally, it has been morally reprehensible in many countries to use consumption in one form or another to treat emotional problems. Marketers could plan and carry out advertising campaigns aiming at reducing the feelings of disapproval, shame, and guilt that are associated with pursuing mood-alleviative consumption activities. As a consequence, the threshold of instantiating mood-alleviative consumption scripts could be lowered. For example, one communicative tactic could be having celebrities telling how they treat themselves when they are having a bad day. The marketing of certain products and services could be especially designed for encouraging people to include them into their mood-alleviative consumption scripts. The "therapy" and "reward" themes could be used in advertising to trigger instantiation of mood-alleviative consumption scripts.

Lastly, the conditions in which the instantiations of mood-alleviative consumption scripts are typically successful and unsuccessful need to be specified. Successful mood-alleviative script instantiations result in turning a negative mood into positive one, neutralizing a negative mood, or mitigating a negative mood. When a negative mood persists or worsens, the mood-alleviative consumption script instantiation has been unsuccessful. Further research should examine whether success in the mood-alleviative consumption script instantiations, in addition to the desired mood effects, lead to heightened satisfaction with the products/services acquired and/or with the shopping environment in which the scripts were instantiated and whether failure in the instantiations, in addition to undesired mood effects, lead to heightened dissatisfaction with the products/services acquired and/or with the shopping environment in which the scripts were instantiated.

Hopefully, the developed control theoretic model of mood-alleviative consumption is a step towards a formal theory. Further research should produce more material on which this theory formulation can be founded. Undoubtedly, a lot remains to be done before such a theory can be worked out in full detail.

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Authors

Harri T. Luomala, University of Vaasa, Finland
Philip E. Lewis, University of Vaasa, Finland



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 5 | 2002



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