Search Conferences

Type in any word, words or author name. This searchs through the abstract title, keywords and abstract text and authors. You may search all conferences or just select one conference.

 All Conferences
 EMAC 2019 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2020 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2020 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2021 Annual Conference
 EMAC 2021 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2022 Annual
 EMAC 2022 Regional Conference
 EMAC 2023 Annual
 EMAC 2023 Regional Conference

EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Upside of Imagining Unattainable Purchases

Published: May 28, 2019


Sofia Kousi, Nova School of Business and Economics; Kimberley Preiksaitis, Siena College


imagination; well-being; unattainable


Imagination is typically conceptualized as a pre-purchase activity aiding in consumption preparation (Fournier & Guiry, 1993; MacInnis & Price, 1990). However, recent research suggests consumers can engage in imagination as an autotelic activity (Mosher & Dacin, 2016). We explore the positive “upsides” consumers gain by imagining unattainable purchases– dream purchases attainable only through extraordinary circumstances, like winning the lottery. Results of two experimental studies suggest that, compared to a control group, consumers who simply spent time imagining an unattainable desired object reported higher overall well-being and enthusiasm. Those who engaged in an extended imagination task, compared to a short one, did not evidence this higher well-being or increased enthusiasm. This suggests the higher cognitive elaboration required in the extended imagination task acts as a reality check, diminishing overall well-being. These findings suggest initial evidence for an important effect of the imagination for overall consumer well-being and effective advertising appeals.