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Essays on the Dynamics of Hedonic Experience

  • Author / Creator
    Wei, Muyu
  • Consumers want to enjoy hedonic experiences— positive experiences that are non-repetitive and extend over a substantial period of time. Enhancing consumers’ enjoyment of a consumption experience significantly impacts their overall happiness, positive word-of-mouth, and purchase intention (e.g., Bagchi and Block 2011; Ditto et al. 2006; Holbrook et al. 1984; Killingsworth and Gilbert 2010; Van Boven, Campbell, and Gilovich 2010; Wang, Novemsky, and Dhar 2009; Westbrook 1987; Van Boven and Gilovich 2003). In an exploration of the dynamics of how consumers approach, construe, and interact with hedonic experiences, this dissertation theorizes about and examines various factors that affect consumers’ enjoyment. In essay 1, I argue that although the opportunity to switch candidate activities helps consumers to identify the most desirable one, it can backfire and diminish consumers’ hedonic value of a consumption experience, through undermining their commitment to a particular activity. In essay 2, I zoom in and focus on the process of consuming an experience, exploring how anticipating the imminent end of an experience influences enjoyment. Specifically, I show that the imminent end boosts consumers’ enjoyment when they have high control over an experience and decreases enjoyment when they have low control. Evidence from multiple experiments supports the theorizing and pinpoints the psychological mechanism underlying these effects.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3K06XH09
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.