The interactive effects of affect and shopping goal on information search and product evaluations

Fangyuan Chen, Robert S. Wyer, Hao Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Although shoppers often want to evaluate products to make a purchase decision, they can also shop for enjoyment. In each case, the amount of time they spend on shopping and the number of options they consider can depend on the mood they happen to be in. We predicted that mood can signal whether the goal has been attained and when people should stop processing information. When people are primarily motivated to purchase a particular type of product, positive mood signals that they have done enough. Thus, they consider less information if they are happy than if they are unhappy. When people shop for enjoyment, however, positive mood signals that they are still having fun. Thus, they consider more information when they are happy than when they are not. Four experiments among university students (N = 827) examined these possibilities. Experiment 1 provided initial evidence for the interactive effects of mood and goals on search behavior and product evaluation. Other studies examined the implications of this conceptualization for different domains: (a) the relative impact of brand and attribute information on judgments (Experiment 2), (b) gender differences in shopping behavior (Experiment 3), and (c) the number of options that people review in an actual online shopping website (Experiment 4).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-442
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Affect and information processing
  • Gender difference
  • Online shopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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