Will This Trip Really Be Exciting? The Role of Incidental Emotions in Product Evaluation

Two studies examine how different emotions of the same valence influence product evaluation when products make specific emotional claims. Vacation products with adventurous (serene) appeals were evaluated more favorably when participants felt excited (peaceful) rather than peaceful (excited). This emotion-congruency effect was not observed when participants were aware of the incidental nature of their feelings (study 1) and was mediated by the influence of feelings on participants' expectations that the product will deliver what it promises (study 2). The findings show that consumers differentiate between distinct positive emotions and use them as information in assessing a product's emotional claims. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]