Navigating Shared Consumption Experiences: Clarity About a Partner’s Interests Increases Enjoyment

Yuechen Wu, Rebecca W. Hamilton, Nicole You Jeung Kim, Rebecca K. Ratner

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers frequently engage in activities with others, such as visiting an art gallery with a friend or going to a sports match with a family member, and they tend to assume that sharing experiences with another person will make these activities more enjoyable. However, navigating a shared experience—making decisions about pacing, sequencing, and interacting with another person as the experience unfolds—can take consumers’ attention away from the activity, potentially reducing their enjoyment. In a series of studies in which consumers engage in real consumption experiences, the authors show that lack of clarity about a partner’s interests can distract consumers, making it difficult for them to focus on the shared activity and reducing their enjoyment of shared experiences relative to solo experiences. Notably, simple interventions can increase clarity of a partner’s interests and consumers’ enjoyment of shared activities, providing tools for service providers who want to retain customers and benefit from positive word of mouth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-455
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • clarity
  • consumption experiences
  • enjoyment
  • need for navigation
  • shared vs. solo experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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