Hedonomics in Consumer Behavior

Hedonic consumption is an important area of consumer behavior, and it represents a pattern of consumption involving emotional qualities and a focus on satisfaction. In these terms, hedonic consumption can be defined as an aspect that deals with the emotional, sensory, and imaginary aspects of product use. At the same time, hedonism can be briefly described as the pursuit of pleasure or a form of attachment to pleasure, especially sensations, or as a theory advocating a pattern of behavior motivated by the desire to seek pleasure or avoid pain in life. Hedonism is a mental state in which "pleasure is the highest beauty, the pursuit of pleasure is a doctrine is a way of life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure."

Hedonomics: Consumers and Consumption

Consumers not only like the best but also like what makes them happiest. We find that consumer preferences align with strategies to increase hedonic experiences at the end of consumption. Consumers indulge in purchases for various non-economic reasons such as role-playing, entertainment, personal gratification, learning about new trends, physical activity, sensory stimulation, social experiences, communication with people with similar interests, the attractiveness of reference groups, status and power, and happy bargaining. Furthermore, consumers, who buy and sell instantly, are like regular customers of malls and supermarkets, who buy in bulk and without a plan. They tend to wear the latest clothes selected from famous brands to show their interest in fashion. They even value store decor and window layout when choosing a store, they shop in.

Hedonic consumption is related to mental images and fantasies. Common reasons for hobby shopping were "social experience, shared interests, interpersonal attraction, racial readiness, and arousal." As soon as there is a need, consumers begin to look for two types of benefits: tangible and hedonistic.

Hedonistic interests include emotional and physical pleasures, dreams, and aesthetic traits. Traditionally, we talk about two types of hedonism: philosophical and psychological. The goal of philosophical hedonism is to maximize pleasure. The purpose of life is to satisfy needs. The second type of hedonism is psychological, described by motive. Every product has a meaning for the consumer, and therefore the emotions and thoughts that lead to the purchase of a product are different. Understanding and explaining the buying rationale shaped by the consumer's unique feelings and thoughts is essential.

In the traditional sense, the factors that help consumers enjoy a product are; satisfying the senses, protecting, entertaining, having a good time, succeeding, being curious and absorbing new experiences, easy to use, long-lasting, easy to maintain, affordable, healthy, agreeable, reputable, love, be fashionable, different, make others happy, absorb new knowledge.

Factors Affecting Consumer Hedonic Behavior

These factors are −

Temporal Factors

Many things that consumers care about change over time. Suppose a stimulus makes a person interested in changes, such as moving from a small apartment to a larger one. In that case, one will first experience a positive feeling, and over time, excitement will fade. This is a hedonistic adaptation. Landmark Brickman's research shows that people can adapt to extreme life changes, such as losing a limb permanently in a car accident and winning a large sum of money in the lottery.

Hedonic adaptation occurs for several reasons. One is an essential psychophysiological adaptation: the longer we are exposed to a stimulus, the less sensitive we are to it. For example, when someone first dips their hands in 50-degree water, they will feel cold. After a while, it will adapt to the temperature and will not find cold water anymore. Another reason for hedonic adaptation is attentional dilution. For example, after a person moves into a large apartment from a smaller one, they will enjoy the extra space, but soon their attention will shift from the house to many things—others, such as her and her crying baby.

Thus, the size of her new apartment was just one of many events that caused the ups and downs in her life. The third reason for hedonic adaptation is called 'ordering.' Once an emotional event has occurred, consumers tend to rationalize it, making it normal and thus reducing its emotional impact. This can happen with both positive and adverse events.

For example, if an auctioneer wins an auction of a painting on eBay, they might say to themselves, "That is no surprise. I pay a lot. If he outbids, he can justify losing by thinking, "That is not a pretty picture anyway." Hedonic adaptation mainly occurs when the new state remains stable, such as when a person is in a new apartment after moving or remains paralyzed after an accident. Another factor that influences a consumer's experience with a series of events over time is the distribution of events. Distributions can be positively or negatively skewed.

Option Effect

Many people believe that having a choice is always better than having none and that having more options is always better than having fewer. None of these beliefs are true. Research shows that if consumers have to experiment with one of many undesirable options, they feel less upset if someone else chooses them than if they had to make a choice themselves. For example, a consumer who is on a diet and can only eat foods she does not like will feel better if someone else chooses that meal for her than if she has to choose herself because choosing between unappetizing meals will cause negative feelings.

If consumers are offered a good choice, they will be satisfied, but if they are offered two good choices, they will perceive a disadvantage of each choice over the other and be less satisfied with the choice—one of two other options. For example, if someone wins a free trip to Paris, they will be happy; If someone wins a free trip to Hawaii, they will be happy. However, if you win a free trip and have to choose between Paris and Hawaii, you may be less happy because each choice has flaws over the other.

Research also shows that Consumers will be less satisfied with their choice if they look closely at the options available than if they are not. In most cases, consumers can only choose one of the available options and must decline the others. Careful considerations can lead consumers to emotionally attach to all options, including those they must give up. So, choosing one person is like losing the other person to whom they already have an emotional attachment.


Hedonomics tells us how a customer can be happy or how to increase the level of customer happiness without any financial cost or entirely at a minimum. Finally, the direction of the seat in the car is significant. Likewise, consumers need to predict happiness maximization accurately. The consumer's happiness also depends on decisions outside of external stimuli. Therefore, each decision must be made optimally to maximize consumer happiness.

Updated on: 03-Mar-2023


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