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The Expectations, Experience, and Consequences of Curiosity Resolution
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This dissertation contributes to a better understanding of curiosity resolution. I investigate the premise that the experience of curiosity resolution is influenced both by the fact that curiosity is resolved, as well as how it is resolved. While the outcome associated with curiosity resolution can be positive or negative in nature, the experience of curiosity resolution itself is predicted to be pleasant in nature. Therefore, I propose that the degree to which each of these two resolution facets is salient will influence curiosity-related evaluations. In this dissertation, I investigate pre-resolution expectations as well as post-resolution downstream consequences. Prior to curiosity resolution, I propose that individuals are likely to be focused on the outcome they will obtain. However, when faced with uncertain outcomes, individuals strategically heighten anticipated feelings of disappointment in order to protect against actual disappointment when the outcome is revealed; thus, I predict and demonstrate in four studies that curious consumers will display heightened levels of pre-resolution feelings of anticipated disappointment. After curiosity resolution, I propose that individuals experience not only positive or negative feelings associated with the outcome obtained, but also positive feelings of resolution itself. In four studies, I investigate the power of curiosity resolution to buffer negative responses to relatively undesirable outcomes. Importantly, I also demonstrate that consumers' focus on either the outcome obtained or on the experience of resolution itself can be experimentally shifted, thereby mitigating the previously described effects.
- Doctoral Dissertations