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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

‘Tell me now, how should I feel?’: Letting go or holding in emotions arising through art consumption experiences

Published: May 28, 2019


Georgia Stavraki, Surrey Business School, University of Surrey; Ioanna Anninou, Surrey Business School


aesthetics; emotions; qualitative


This study approaches emotion regulation as an interplay between emotions and identity to investigate how consumers regulate their emotions during an experience of contemporary art. Adopting a dialogical approach to emotion regulation, we provide insights into how emotions develop and are experienced in such a highly emotional consumption field. Following a qualitative diary approach, this study unravels the role of the primary and secondary emotions in accessing and making sense of an aesthetic experience. Particularly, our evidence illustrates how the interaction of primary and secondary emotions can either disrupt consumers’ emotional immersion, thus disconnecting them from the experience, or allow consumers to access the inner realm of their experiences, thus becoming the basis for transforming themselves. The findings extend prior research on (aesthetic) consumption experiences and emotion regulation.