Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Satisfaction and Disappointment in Consumer Choices

Egbert, Henrik and Mengov, George (2009): Satisfaction and Disappointment in Consumer Choices. Published in: Journal of Psychological Investigations , Vol. 2009, No. 1 (1 March 2009): pp. 143-155.

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This article investigates the role emotions play in economic decisions. In a computer based experiment our participants were the consumers of a fictitious service bearing resemblance to that offered by mobile phone operators. In each of 17 rounds a participant had to choose between retaining the current supplier or changing it with a competitor, based on information about expected and actual prices to be paid. We recorded participants’ self-assessed satisfaction or disappointment on a psychometric scale. Logit models are used to explain and predict individual choices based on prices, previous decisions, and emotions. Our findings show that prediction of choice is significantly better if information about the participants’ emotions is considered. We analyse how disrupted satisfaction treadmills make people feel disappointed at the face of financial discount and mildly satisfied when they have to pay more than expected.

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