Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

Document Type



Negative self-conscious (SC) emotions are important to examine in the field of consumer behavior. These emotions have been identified as drivers of social behavior; each day consumers make decisions and form attitudes and thoughts based on the negative self-conscious emotions they experience. Thus, these emotions are a common occurrence in the marketplace, making them particularly relevant to examine in the consumption experience. The purpose of this dissertation is to build a framework to identify how each one of these emotions function in the consumption experience. Specifically, five objectives are addressed: 1) Introduce and identify why negative SC emotions are important in the consumption experience; 2) Differentiate guilt, embarrassment, and shame in the consumption experience; 3) Identify unique antecedents for each emotion; 4) Identify coping strategies for each emotion; and 5) Identify a set of implications for marketing managers, consumer behavior researchers, and consumer welfare advocates. Essay 1 examined all three negative SC emotions (guilt, embarrassment and shame) in consumption experiences. The objectives discussed above were achieved using qualitative data from ten in-depth interviews. Results indicated that each negative SC emotion is present in the consumption experience. In addition, antecedents and coping mechanisms were identified for each emotion. These unique antecedents and consequences allowed the researcher to distinguish the three emotions from each other, as well as identify implications relevant to marketing managers, consumer behavior researchers and consumer welfare advocates. Essay 2 and Essay 3 examined the specific role of consumer guilt in the relationship marketing paradigm. Specifically, Essay 2 considered the antecedents of consumer guilt. This was achieved by data collected from an exploratory study. The results were used to build a conceptual framework, which was then examined empirically using structural equation modeling. Findings revealed that consumer guilt arises from consumer norm violations. Essay 3 sought to indentify the consequences of consumer guilt. This was achieved through analyzing a conceptual model using structural equation modeling. Findings reveal consumer guilt impacts of the outcome variables of affective and normative commitment, word-of-mouth and patronage intentions. Theoretical and managerial implications are offered.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Folse, Judith Anne Garretson

Included in

Marketing Commons