Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how abstract vs concrete mindsets impact consumers’ post-purchase affective states. Drawing on construal level theory, the study examines when consumers experience “pleasure” or “guilt” after impulse buying. Design/methodology/approach: The basic premises of this research was tested using multiple studies. Study 1 was conducted in the field, the second study engaged an online survey, while the third study used a laboratory experiment. Findings: After impulse buying, consumers with abstract mindsets reported strong feelings of pleasure, whereas those with concrete mindsets experienced profound guilt. Research limitations/implications: Research on affective responses (i.e. pleasure and guilt) following impulse purchase is limited. However, the present study helps understand an important research question: when do consumers feel pleasure (or guilt) after impulse buying? Practical implications: Marketers can frame messages that align with abstract mindsets to enhance pleasure and reduce guilt after impulse buying. Social implications: Policymakers can persuade consumers to refrain from making impulsive decisions through communication that reminds them of past impulse purchase behaviour, by triggering a concrete mindset. Originality/value: This research extends the literature on post-purchase effects by demonstrating that consumers’ mindsets determine the intensity of their affective state after impulse buying.
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