Awe and Self-Gifting: How Feelings of Awe Reduces Consumers’ Desire For Self-Gifting

Document Type

Paper Presentation

Publication Date



Self-gifting, the practice of buying gifts for oneself, is quite prevalent. Typically, consumers engage in self-gifting for indulgence, rewards or as a mood-regulatory device. Self-gifting may be associated with one’s self-concept and self-esteem since the main goal of this practice is to regulate one’s mood. Awe is a unique and a self-transcendent emotion that has two central themes: triggering a sense of smallness which is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world and encouraging the desire to be good to others by promoting prosocial and other-oriented behaviors. To date, the literature has predominately focused on the positive impact of awe on several outcomes such as physical and psychological well-being. In this research, we postulate that awe may negatively impact the desire to self-gift. We suggest that consumers are less likely to engage in self-gifting when experiencing awe. Across two studies, our research finds that feelings of awe can make consumers less likely to engage in self-gifting. In addition, this research shows that this effect generalizes across multiple ad types and does not occur for non-self-gifts. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Biltmore Miami-Coral Gables


Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference


Coral Gables, FL


College of Business and Management

This document is currently not available here.