Chasing Rainbows: Strategies For Promoting Future Better Outcomes

Why do frequent gamblers continue gambling? Is it the thrill and excitement of a win? We propose that instead of enjoying the current outcome, frequent gamblers focus on future outcomes and how those outcomes will be better than the current outcome. In study 1, we demonstrate that frequent gamblers generate mixed counterfactuals. We argue that the upward counterfactuals allow the person to prepare for the future, while downward counterfactuals generate positive affect used to fuel the pursuit of future possibilities. In study 2, we manipulate temporal focus and regulatory focus, and show that mixed counterfactuals are generated when people anticipate future pleasurable outcomes. Finally, in study 3 we provide evidence that mixed counterfactuals cause emotional dilution. Taken together, the studies support the idea that frequent gamblers continue to gamble because they are chasing rainbows.


Christina I. Anthony and Elizabeth Cowley (2010) ,"Chasing Rainbows: Strategies For Promoting Future Better Outcomes", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 161-165 .


Christina I. Anthony , University of Sydney, Australia
Elizabeth Cowley, University of Sydney, Australia


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Crime and Punishment through the Political Lens: How Liberals Forgive, and Conservatives Punish Ethical Brand Users

Thomas Allard, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Brent McFerran, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Read More


Shades of Rejections: The Effect of Rejection Frames on Commitment to Choice

Jen H. Park, Stanford University, USA
Itamar Simonson, Stanford University, USA

Read More


Visual Perceptual Research in Marketing

Kevin L. Sample, University of Georgia, USA
Henrik Hagtvedt, Boston College, USA
S. Adam Brasel, Boston College, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.