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How mental simulation evokes negative affective misforecasting of hedonic experiences

Gia Nardini (University of Denver, Colorado, USA)
Richard J. Lutz (University of Florida, Florida, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 13 November 2018

Issue publication date: 27 November 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between mental simulation and affective misforecasting of hedonic consumption experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present a series of lab and field studies that manipulate mental simulation and experience type (ordinary versus extraordinary) and measure affective misforecasting and mindfulness. Data were analyzed using a combination of ANOVA and PROCESS.

Findings

Mental simulation before an experience causes negative affective misforecasting to occur for extraordinary experiences but not ordinary experiences. The authors further show that mindfulness mediates the effect of mental simulation on affective misforecasting.

Practical implications

The findings provide insight into how thinking about experiences before consumption affects consumers’ actual engagement with the experience. This paper suggests that, by encouraging consumers to mentally simulate their experiences before consumption, marketers may cause consumers to miss out on enjoying their experiences to the fullest. Instead, marketers may want to maintain some mystique by encouraging consumers to “come see for themselves”.

Originality/value

The authors demonstrate a novel cause of affective misforecasting: mental simulation before the experience and provide initial evidence in support of a novel psychological process explanation (i.e. mindfulness) for the effect of mental simulation on affective misforecasting.

Keywords

Citation

Nardini, G. and Lutz, R.J. (2018), "How mental simulation evokes negative affective misforecasting of hedonic experiences", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 633-643. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-07-2017-2291

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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