The Unexpected Enjoyment of Expected Events: the Suboptimal Consumption of Televised Sports.

Uncertain events can be more exciting than their certain alternatives. Four studies examined how the emotions of uncertainty (anxiety and excitement) contribute to the enjoyment of televised sports (basketball and European handball). Live events are more enjoyable because they feel more uncertain than taped events (Study 1). Nevertheless, certainty (knowing the outcome) does not decrease enjoyment, but increasing anxiety can increase enjoyment (Study 2). Furthermore, if consumers know the game play before it occurs, enjoyment increases (Study 3) for most viewers, but goes down for bettors (Study 4). We discuss these results in terms of the consumption of mixed emotions.


Leif Nelson, Jeff Galak, and Joachim Vosgerau (2008) ,"The Unexpected Enjoyment of Expected Events: the Suboptimal Consumption of Televised Sports.", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 185-188.


Leif Nelson, University of California, San Diego
Jeff Galak, New York University
Joachim Vosgerau, Carnegie Mellon University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

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