Feeling mixed but not torn: The moderating role of construal level in mixed emotions appeals

Jiewen Hong*, Angela Y. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


This research examines how construal level (i.e., how abstractly or concretely people represent information in memory) affects consumers' responses to mixed emotions appeals. The results of five studies show that, consistent with prior research, participants experienced discomfort when they encountered mixed emotions appeals and developed less favorable attitudes toward the ad relative to pure positive emotional appeals, but this was the case only for those who construed information at a concrete, low level. Participants who construed information at an abstract, high level did not experience much discomfort; hence, they found mixed emotions and pure positive emotional appeals equally persuasive. We further demonstrate that the chronic construal level associated with people's age and cultural background underlies the moderating effects of age and culture on consumers' attitudes toward mixed emotions appeals documented in prior research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-472
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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