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The Impact of the Interaction of Utilitarian and Informational Reinforcement and Behavior Setting Scope on Consumer Response


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Mirella Yani-de-Soriano, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, Wales, UK (


The influence of the environment on the emotional responses and behaviors of consumers has been well established in the consumer behavior literature. The Behavioral Perspective Model (BPM) assumes that utilitarian reinforcement, informational reinforcement, and consumer behavior setting scope are independent dimensions of environmental influence, which can combine in particular consumption situations to produce consumer behavior. This paper empirically examines the possibility of interactions among these dimensions by means of the pleasure, arousal, and dominance (PAD) emotional variables. The PAD variables have been shown to mediate consumer behaviors such as the desire to stay or escape from the setting, to affiliate with others, and the willingness to spend money and consume. The results, showing an interaction between pleasure and arousal in high-pleasure environments, which then leads to increased approach behavior, seem to confirm the synergistic effects of utilitarian reinforcement and informational reinforcement on behavior. This study appears to be the first to find and investigate a three-way interaction between pleasure, arousal, and dominance in the context of purchase and consumption. This interaction suggests that the three structural dimensions of the BPM combine to produce consumer behavior. It also highlights the important role of consumer behavior setting scope in consumer situations maintained by intermediate patterns of reinforcement. The implications of these findings for theory and marketing management are discussed.

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