Two Essays on Hope and Consumer Behavior

dc.contributor.authorJuma, Stephen O.en
dc.contributor.committeechairPandelaere, Marioen
dc.contributor.committeememberChaxel, Anne-Sophieen
dc.contributor.committeememberBagchi, Rajeshen
dc.contributor.committeememberChakravarti, Dipankaren
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation consists of two essays on the impact of hope on financial decision making. While hope is a commonly experienced positive emotion, research on the impact of hope on consumer decision making is relatively sparse. The first essay examines the impact of hope on gambling intentions. Findings from seven studies, including one consequential, demonstrate that in a gambling context, hope leads to suboptimal decisions when the focus of hope is on winning. We theorize and show empirically that this effect occurs because hope triggers experiential processing, which in turn increases gambling, interestingly without affecting rational expectations of winning. Evidence from a variety of gambling contexts suggest that hope leads to both intent and actual gambling behavior. This effect of hope on gambling does not hold for individuals low on trait experiential processing and is attenuated when individuals are prompted to not rely on their feelings. Thus, the authors contribute to the literature on hope by providing a detailed understanding of how hope impacts processing of information, which in turn leads to suboptimal decisions in a gambling context. More broadly, this work offers implications for policy makers and consumers to understand and to become aware of how everyday positive emotion can be detrimental to consumer welfare. The second essay examines the impact of hope on savings. Across five studies, this research displays that hope increases willingness to save. The effect of hope on savings intention is mediated by hope's focus on the future. When hope is no longer focused on the future but is instead focused on the past, this effect disappears. To rule out positive emotion in general as a driving effect, we examine pride, a positive emotion which is generally focused on the past and find that pride does not lead to savings intention unless the focus of pride is shifted to the future. We also examine an alternative potential explanation that a sense of closeness with one's future self is driving the effect of hope on savings intention but do not find support for this, rather it is a future time perspective that mediates the effect of hope on willingness to save. These findings and their implications for research on positive emotion, time perspective and financial decision making are discussed.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralThis study consists of two essays on hope's impact on consumer decision making. Essay 1 examines a negative side of hope, namely how hope may motivate gambling intentions. Although hope is commonly thought of as a positive entity, could hope actually trap an individual, leading to suboptimal decisions? We find that hope of winning increases gambling intentions through experiential (or emotional) processing. When individuals are instructed to not rely on their feelings, this impact of hope on gambling intentions disappears. We also find that for individuals who tend not to utilize experiential processing, there is no impact of hope on gambling. Essay 2 looks at a positive consequence of hope: how hope motivates savings. We find that hope's focus on the future leads to motivation to save for one's future. When the focus of hope is shifted to the past, the impact of hope on saving disappears. We compare hope to another positive emotion, pride, as pride differs from hope by its typical focus on the past. We find that pride does not motivate savings unless its focus is shifted to the future. We rule out an alternative explanation for why hope may motivate savings by looking at sense of closeness with one's future self. We find that while a future time perspective mediates hope's impact on savings, sense of closeness with one's future self does not. The findings from these two essays add to the scarce literature on hope's impact on consumer decision making by providing two contrasting consequences of hope.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectfinancial decision-makingen
dc.subjectinformation processingen
dc.subjectexperiential processingen
dc.subjectrisk takingen
dc.subjecttime perspectiveen
dc.titleTwo Essays on Hope and Consumer Behavioren
dc.typeDissertationen, Executive Business Researchen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Philosophyen


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