ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (10): 1818-1829.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01818

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Consumer Guilt: The Frontier Analysis of Dimension, Process and Empirical Research

BAI Lin; CHEN Chen; CHEN Huiwen   

  1. (School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China)
  • Received:2015-01-06 Online:2015-10-15 Published:2015-10-15
  • Contact: BAI Lin, E-mail:


Consumer guilt is defined as the consumer's negative feeling when breaking the social norms or violating personal values. Consumer guilt is a double-edged sword for the enterprises. Being used improperly, it will have negative effects on the repurchase intention and loyalty of the consumers. The enterprise also can achieve its marketing objectives through the advertisement emotional appeal by using the consumer guilt properly. The paper first introduces the theoretical basis of consumer guilt including emotional dimensions, timing and types, and then analyzes the process of consumer guilt from its initiation to elimination. Finally the empirical studies of influencing factors of eliminating the consumer guilt, its applicable context and mixed emotions were clarified. The future studies were necessary to explore the consumer guilt in virtual environment, intensity of guilt, the moderators and empirical research methods.

Key words: consumer guilt, emotion dimensions, influencing factors, applicable context, advertisement appeal