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This research examines how consumers experience decision making for experiential products such as vacations. We combine data from 1) ethnographic interviews, 2) online community discussion forums, and 3) an introspective vacation-planning task to explore the experience of emotion in the decision process and to develop a new model of decision making that extends extant decision theories. We find that consumers experience a variety of positive emotions as they plan vacations, from facilitative feelings that guide the plan to fantasy feelings consumed for pleasure. Positive emotions are most evident in reaction to imagery and when the consumer's self-identity is salient, and often precede more analytic information processing. Overall, this research offers a richer understanding of the emotional nature of consumer decision making for experiential products and services.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Kwortnik, R. J., & Ross, W. T. (2007). The role of positive emotions in experiential decisions. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 24(4), 324-335. doi: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2007.09.002
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.