The Unique Role of Anger among Negative Emotions in Goal-Directed Decision Making

Uzma Khan, Alexander DePaoli, Michal Maimaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


While much of consumer choice is goal driven, consumers often fail to prioritize their goals when making decisions. Despite this relevance of goal pursuit to consumer behavior, relatively little work has examined the factors that facilitate it. The current research examines when and how different negative emotions influence such goal-directed decision making. Six studies show that anger leads to greater goal-directed decision making and more goal-consistent choices compared to sadness and fear. Consequently, anger results in both less susceptibility to contextual choice biases and greater post-choice satisfaction. We argue that the results arise because anger is characterized by appraisals of both high certainty and high control, which increase the likelihood that consumers will use goals as decision criteria. With anger becoming more common in the consumer space, thanks to contemporary social media and political polarization, we provide a framework for marketers and managers to put this negative emotion to good use.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
Journal Journal of Association of Consumer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


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