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Emotions as core building blocks of an experience

Marcel Bastiaansen (Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands and Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands)
Xander Dennis Lub (Academy of Hotel & Facility Management, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands and Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, The Netherlands)
Ondrej Mitas (Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands)
Timothy Hyungsoo Jung (Department of Operations Technology, Events and Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Mário Passos Ascenção (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland)
Dai-In Han (Academy of Hotel & Facility Management, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands and Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, The Netherlands)
Teemu Moilanen (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland)
Bert Smit (Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands)
Wim Strijbosch (Department of Academy for Leisure, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 15 January 2019

Issue publication date: 15 February 2019

4164

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to stimulate the discussion in the fields of hospitality, tourism and leisure on what exactly constitutes “an experience” and how to measure it; the authors unpack the experience construct into its core constituent elements, namely, emotions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews insights from psychology and cognitive neuroscience that define experiences as a fine-grained temporal succession of emotions that occur during an experiential episode. Limitations of current methods for measuring experiences are discussed, after which biometric and neuroscientific methods are reviewed that are optimally geared toward measuring emotions, as they occur during an experience with fine temporal detail.

Findings

An overview is presented of the available studies within the fields of hospitality, tourism and leisure that use these methodologies. These studies show that using these methodologies provides a fruitful methodological approach to measuring experiences in real time.

Practical implications

Companies are constantly seeking to create memorable experiences for their customers. The proposed research methodologies allow companies to get a more fine-grained image of what impacts customers over the course of their experience and to actively integrate the use of emotions into creating experiences, as emotions are key to making them memorable.

Originality/value

The paper sketches the contours of a rapidly emerging framework that unpacks memorable experiences into their constituent element – emotions. It is proposed that this will contribute to a deeper understanding of how consumers experience offerings in the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry.

Keywords

Citation

Bastiaansen, M., Lub, X.D., Mitas, O., Jung, T.H., Ascenção, M.P., Han, D.-I., Moilanen, T., Smit, B. and Strijbosch, W. (2019), "Emotions as core building blocks of an experience", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 651-668. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-11-2017-0761

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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