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Abstract

What do consumers want to achieve when they engage in negative word-of-mouth communication (N-WOM)? Two studies explore this question and reveal that consumers pursue specific goals when engaging in N-WOM and that these goals systematically differ between the specific negative emotions that are experienced. For example, the results reveal that consumers who experience anger engage in N-WOM to vent feelings or to take revenge. However, disappointed consumers engage in N-WOM to warn others, and consumers who experience regret communicate with others to strengthen social bonds or to warn them. This reveals the functionality of specific emotions to N-WOM, and how goals for N-WOM are associated with these emotions. This demonstrates that rather than being uniform, the content and implications of N-WOM are contingent on the specific emotions that consumers experience. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.