Category-bounded emotional enhancement: spillover effects in the valuation of public goods

Nicolao Bonini, Michele Graffeo, Constantinos Hadjichristidis, Ilana Ritov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined whether enhancing (vs. not enhancing) the emotionality of a referent public good influences the subsequent valuation of a target public good. We predicted that it would and that the directionality of its impact would depend on a fundamental cognitive process–categorisation. If the target and referent goods belong to the same domain, we expected that the effect on the target would be in the same direction as the emotional enhancement of the referent (assimilation effect). However, if the target and referent goods belong to different domains, we expected that the effect on the target would be either negligible or in the opposite direction to that of the emotional enhancement of the referent (null or contrast effect). In Experiment 1 we examined the impact of emotionally enhancing a referent public good on feelings towards a target public good, whereas in Experiment 2 on the willingness to contribute towards a target public good. The results support the predicted interaction, which was driven by an assimilation effect for same-domain goods and a null effect for different-domain goods. In doing so, the present findings highlight the interplay between cognition and emotion in the valuation of public goods. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1330-1341
Number of pages12
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Emotional spillover effect
  • assimilation effect
  • categorisation
  • contingent valuation method
  • contrast effect
  • willingness to contribute

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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