The jilting effect: Antecedents, mechanisms, and consequences for preference

Aaron M. Garvey, Margaret G. Meloy, Baba Shiv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This research explores how the experience of a jilt-the anticipation and subsequent inaccessibility of a highly desirable, aspirant option-influences preference for incumbent and non-incumbent options. The authors conceptualize jilting as a multi-stage process, which consists of a pre-jilt anticipatory phase that is initiated on the introduction of an aspirant option arid a post-jilt phase that is initiated when the aspirant option becomes inaccessible. They show that during the anticipatory phase, a process of denigration specific to the incumbent option is engendered. The subsequent jilt elicits a negative emotional response. During the affectively charged post-jilt phase, preference shifts away from the now-denigrated incumbent option, yielding a jilting effect. In four field and laboratory studies, the authors establish this jilting effect, rule out alternative accounts, and discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-798
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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