Faculty Publications


The effect of anger on variety seeking for consumers of differing socio-economic backgrounds

Document Type



Childhood SES, Life-history theory, The appraisal-tendency approach, Trait anger, Variety seeking

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current Psychology


Drawing from life-history theory and the appraisal-tendency approach toward emotion, this study investigated the effect of anger on consumers’ variety-seeking (VS) behavior depending on childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and trait anger. Participants (N = 159) were randomly assigned to either the anger or the neutral condition. The results showed that childhood SES interacts with trait anger to influence VS when people are temporarily in an angry mood but not when people are in a neutral mood. More specifically, people from relatively resource-abundant environments generally tend to seek variety when they are temporarily in an angry mood, independent of trait anger; although those with a low trait anger tend to choose more variety compared to those with a high trait anger. For people growing up from relatively resource-scarce environments, those with a low trait anger tend to choose less variety when they feel angry than those with a high trait anger. The present study extends the current understanding of the effects of emotion on VS. The theoretical and marketing implications of these findings are discussed.

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa