When and how to sell pleasurably painful experiences

Anqi Luo, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tourists and consumers are increasingly inclined to seek experiences that combine pleasure and pain (i.e., pleasurably painful experiences such as skydiving). Taking a novel perspective from biological basis of behavior, this research examines how preference for such experiences varies throughout the day by demonstrating the match between physiological arousal and arousal potential of such experiences. Four experiments show that to match the lower physiological arousal in the morning (vs. evening), consumers prefer less pleasurably painful experiences (i.e., less stimulating experiences). However, using fast-tempo music, hedonic framing that emphasizes pleasure or low color saturation imagery can attenuate proposed time-of-day variation by either increasing physiological arousal or reducing the potential arousal of such experiences to create an arousal match in the morning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103683
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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