For example, mammal pups that are in a negative state are typically injured, sick, heat deprived, or lost. The brain tries to restore physical resources to these vulnerable creatures by increasing their pleasure response to tactile stimulation. "In this way, the mammal will experience pleasure from engaging in behaviors that mitigate the negative affect state (for example, returning to its mother for warmth, protection, and nourishment)," the authors write.
Mammals that are in a positive state are primed for visual exploration, to fulfill goals of protection and territorial expansion. "Animal studies have shown that excited organisms have heightened visual systems and make more visual explorations," the authors explain.
Across five experiments the authors found that consumers felt more pleasure from tactile attributes of products when they were in negative states, and more pleasure from visual aspects when they were in positive states. For example, in one experiment, participants who were in a negative affective state were more appreciative of the tactile qualities of a hand lotion, whereas those in a positive state were more appreciative of the lotion's visual qualities.
"This research suggests that marketers may be able to segment their markets based on the affective propensities of the consumer, and prioritize tactile and visual quality for these different segments," the authors write. "A dollar invested in the 'correct' attribute will generate more pleasure, and hence, will be more likely to be rewarded in terms of higher sales." Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.