Feelings and thoughts are inseparable in decision making process. As social beings, individuals frequently integrate their emotions in relation to other people in their consumption choices. In my two dissertation essays, I seek to examine the role of emotions on consumption decisions. In the first essay, I explore the impact of self-transcendent emotion of awe on preferences for limited edition products. Findings across seven studies indicate that awe-eliciting appeals commonly used in the promotion of limited edition products decrease consumer preferences towards those products. This effect is due to reduced feelings of connection for individuals feeling awe in response to the promotion of limited edition products. Furthermore, I demonstrate that the promotion of limited edition products can benefit from awe elicitation, but these effects depend on characteristics of the consumer segment (need for uniqueness) and promotion (presence of cause-related marketing cues) related to the experience of connection. My second essay investigates how romantic maintenance motives affect preferences for utilitarian consumption. Across six studies, including secondary data from the United States Department of Transportation, individuals with a romantic relationship maintenance motive were more likely to engage in utilitarian consumption relative to individuals without such motive. This effect emerges from the temporal focus towards the future for individuals with a romantic maintenance motive. Furthermore, positioning the product for short-term use or highlighting additional services that provide immediate benefits mitigates this effect. In the two essays, I use both lab and field experiments to test my hypotheses, employ both mediation and moderation methods to test the psychological processes, and explore several boundary conditions. I conclude the two essays by outlining their contributions to both theory and marketing practice.


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Graduation Date





Wang, Ze


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration

Degree Program

Business Administration; Marketing




CFE0008529; DP0024205





Release Date

May 2024

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2024; it will then be open access.