Feeling love and doing more for distant others: Specific positive emotions differentially affect prosocial consumption

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Marketers often employ a variety of positive emotions to encourage consumption or promote a particular behavior (e.g., buying, donating, recycling) to benefit an organization or cause. The authors show that specific positive emotions do not universally increase prosocial behavior but, rather, encourage different types of prosocial behavior. Four studies show that whereas positive emotions (i.e., love, hope, pride, and compassion) all induce prosocial behavior toward close entities (relative to a neutral emotional state), only love induces prosocial behavior toward distant others and international organizations. Love's effect is driven by a distinct form of broadening, characterized by extending feelings of social connection and the boundary of caring to be more inclusive of others regardless of relatedness. Love - as a trait and a momentary emotionis unique among positive emotions in fostering connectedness that other positive emotions (hope and pride) do not and broadening behavior in a way that other connected emotions (compassion) do not. This research contributes to the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotion by demonstrating a distinct type of broadening for love and adds an important qualification to the general finding that positive emotions uniformly encourage prosocial behavior.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cavanaugh, LA; Bettman, JR; Luce, MF

Published Date

  • October 1, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 657 - 673

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-7193

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-2437

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1509/jmr.10.0219

Citation Source

  • Scopus