Date of this Version
Journal of Consumer Research
Consumer reactions to a surprising event are generally stronger than those to an identical but unexpected event. But the experience of surprise differs across cultures. In this article, we examine differences between East Asian and Western emotional reactions to unexpected incentives. When given an unexpected gift, East Asians report less surprise and less pleasure than Westerners. East Asians’ dampened pleasure is explained by their motivation to maintain balance and emotional control, which leads to a reappraisal of perceived likelihood. However, if the unexpected gift is attributed to good luck, which is a desirable form of the unexpected, East Asians experience even greater pleasure than Westerners.
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research following peer review. The version of record [Valenzuela, A., Mellers, B., & Strebel, J. Pleasurable Surprises: A Cross-Cultural Study of Consumer Responses to Unexpected Incentives. Journal of Consumer Research 36, no. 5: 792-805] is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/605592.
affect/emotions/mood, cross-cultural research, motivation/desires/goals, cognitive processes, experimental design and analysis (ANOVA)
Valenzuela, A., Mellers, B., & Strebel, J. (2010). Pleasurable Surprises: A Cross-Cultural Study of Consumer Responses to Unexpected Incentives. Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (5), 792-805. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/605592
Date Posted: 15 June 2018
This document has been peer reviewed.