Hedonic Benefits of Experiential Preparation
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While a vast amount of research in marketing has examined how information prior to purchase helps consumers to make purchase decisions, relatively little work has considered how marketers can increase the value consumers derive from subsequent experiences using this information. This dissertation develops a construct called "experiential preparation" that describes how consumers can increase the hedonic benefit of their experiences. This dissertation defines "experiential preparation" as any mechanism that allows consumers to familiarize themselves with upcoming experiences in advance of consumption, while the "preparation effect" refers to the increase in liking for an event due to experiential preparation.In a series of ten experimental studies this dissertation demonstrates that experiential preparation increases satisfaction, particularly where the respondent is in a positive mood. It also identifies the primary mechanism through which experiential preparation works, showing that increased satisfaction is fully mediated by fluency. These effects occurred across a range of experiences and modes of preparation. In all the studies, participants viewed feature-length and short, films and read short stories. Participants who engaged in experiential preparation received previews in the form of plot summaries or actual excerpts from the films and stories. In all studies, participants reported their enjoyment for the experiences, and, in several studies additional preference measures were collected. Finally, measures were developed to test for the ways in which fluency mediates and positive moods moderate the preparation effect.This dissertation is organized in three chapters. In Chapter One, experiential preparation and the preparation effect are defined, and background literature is discussed. Chapter Two analyses the results of the ten studies thematically around various mechanisms, some of which have a significant impact on the preparation effect, and some, little impact. Chapter Three presents the studies' results in detail.
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