Emotion specificity and consumer behavior: Anger, sadness, and preference for activity

Derek D. Rucker*, Richard E. Petty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We examine the influence of two specific negative emotions (i.e., sadness and anger) on consumers' preference for an advertised product promoting either activity (e.g., exercise) or passivity (e.g., relaxation). On the basis of empirical distinctions between the level of activation accompanying sadness and anger, and drawing upon a mood-as-information perspective, we hypothesized that individuals will have a preference for activity to passivity when in an angry compared to a sad emotional state. Thus, when angry, they preferred a product advertised as active, whereas when sad they preferred a product described in more passive terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004


  • Emotion
  • Emotion specificity
  • Persuasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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