Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal instincts: Why do unhappy consumers prefer tactile sensations?

Date:
June 16, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A new study explains why sad people are more likely to want to hug a teddy bear than seek out a visual experience such as looking at art. Hint: it has to do with our mammalian instincts.

A new study explains why sad people are more likely to want to hug a teddy bear than seek out a visual experience such as looking at art. Hint: It has to do with our mammalian instincts.
Credit: Kenishirotie / Fotolia

A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research explains why sad people are more likely to want to hug a teddy bear than seek out a visual experience such as looking at art. Hint: It has to do with our mammalian instincts.

Related Articles


"Human affective systems evolved from mammalian affective systems, and when mammals are young and incapable of thinking, their brain systems have to make these pups able to perform the 'correct' behavior," write authors Dan King (NUS Business School, Singapore) and Chris Janiszewski (University of Florida, Gainesville). One way the brain encourages correct behavior is to use the mammal's affective state to change the pleasure response to major sensory channels.

For example, mammal pups that are in a negative state are typically injured, sick, heat deprived, or lost. The brain tries to restore physical resources to these vulnerable creatures by increasing their pleasure response to tactile stimulation. "In this way, the mammal will experience pleasure from engaging in behaviors that mitigate the negative affect state (for example, returning to its mother for warmth, protection, and nourishment)," the authors write.

Mammals that are in a positive state are primed for visual exploration, to fulfill goals of protection and territorial expansion. "Animal studies have shown that excited organisms have heightened visual systems and make more visual explorations," the authors explain.

Across five experiments the authors found that consumers felt more pleasure from tactile attributes of products when they were in negative states, and more pleasure from visual aspects when they were in positive states. For example, in one experiment, participants who were in a negative affective state were more appreciative of the tactile qualities of a hand lotion, whereas those in a positive state were more appreciative of the lotion's visual qualities.

"This research suggests that marketers may be able to segment their markets based on the affective propensities of the consumer, and prioritize tactile and visual quality for these different segments," the authors write. "A dollar invested in the 'correct' attribute will generate more pleasure, and hence, will be more likely to be rewarded in terms of higher sales."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dan King and Chris Janiszewski. Affect-Gating. Journal of Consumer Research, June 7, 2011 DOI: 10.1086/660811

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Animal instincts: Why do unhappy consumers prefer tactile sensations?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615120250.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, June 16). Animal instincts: Why do unhappy consumers prefer tactile sensations?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615120250.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Animal instincts: Why do unhappy consumers prefer tactile sensations?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615120250.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins