When it could have been worse, it gets better: how favorable uncertainty resolution slows hedonic adaptation (Englisch)

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Thankfully, most product consumption experiences are positive. Unfortunately, however, those positive experiences are not always guaranteed, and defects creep into the consumer experience. Though its assertion runs counter to most prescriptions, the current research proposes that exposing consumers to the mere possibility of negative experiences occurring in a consumption sequence increases consumers' happiness with those experiences over time. Six studies demonstrate this effect and further show that it is driven by hedonic responses as a result of favorable uncertainty resolution. That is, with the mere possibility of a negative experience, a consumer who actually experiences a positive outcome is likely to feel relief or pleasure from not having to experience the negative outcome. This research enriches existing literature on hedonic adaptation and uncertainty and has significant implications for consumer behavior.

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