Workshop Series: Nitika Garg
Sadness' appraisal themes of loss and helplessness evoke an implicit goal of reward replacement. This influences consumption behavior for sad individuals, leading them to pay more to acquire new goods and eat more unhealthy food than they would otherwise. These undesirable consumption effects of sadness can occur without awareness, thus representing more than just conscious attempts at "retail therapy." In a series of three experiments with real food consumption, the present paper establishes that (a) presenting a choice attenuates sadness' influence on consumption since providing individuals with a choice counteracts sadness' appraisals of helplessness and enhances a sense of individual control; and (b) enhancing self-awareness depresses consumption in sad individuals. This is in keeping with prior research which suggests that increased awareness forces individuals to compare their behavior with their internal standards and reduces consumption of fatty and unhealthy foods.
Nitika Garg is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Dr. Garg's primary interests are emotions and their influence on consumer judgment and decision making including choice and consumption. Specifically, she examines the effect of discrete emotional states such as anger, happiness, and sadness, on various aspects of consumer behavior especially, consumption of hedonic products and the implications of these behaviours for stakeholders such as managers, public policy officials, and consumers. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Consumer Psychology.