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The influence of incidental affect and mood-changing price on online booking intention

ChihChien Chen (College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Karen Xie (Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA)
Shuo Wang (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 2 October 2017




This paper aims to examine the joint influence of incidental affect and mood-changing prices on consumers’ hotel booking intention in an online purchase context.


Based on the integrative framework of affect evaluation and affect regulation, a 3 × 2 full factorial between-subject online experiment in an online booking scenario is developed to investigate how consumers’ booking intentions change by mood inductions (happy, neutral and sad) and price levels (below versus above reference price).


Results showed that when the observed price was a mood-threatening cue, participants who were induced to feel either happy or sad by a commercial had a higher booking intention than those who were induced to feel neutral. However, there were no significant differences in participants’ booking intentions across pre-purchase affective states when the observed price was a mood-lifting cue.

Research limitations/implications

The current study contributes to a better understanding and prediction of consumers’ action tendencies resulting from the interactions between specific incidental affects and mood-changing opportunities in an online hotel reservation environment.

Practical implications

Online booking companies and online travel agencies in general may wish to incorporate mood-changing components into their booking web pages to enhance potential bookers’ purchase intentions at any given price.


This research is one of the first empirical studies to instantiate the integrative affective mechanism in an online purchase setting. As e-commerce and online marketplaces are taking the place of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing, it is critical for hospitality industry marketers to fully understand how consumers’ pre-purchase emotions influence their purchase decisions.



Chen, C., Xie, K. and Wang, S. (2017), "The influence of incidental affect and mood-changing price on online booking intention", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 357-371.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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