The Quest for Anticipated Emotion of Others: A Lesson from Indonesia

Bilson Simamora

Introduction

Anticipated emotions and its family members, such as regret, anticipatory emotions, and regret, are now very familiar in marketing though they are borrowed from psychology (Huang, 2001).  Marketers are usually attracted to study experienced and anticipated emotions.  As Baumeister, Vosh, Dewall, and Zhang (2007) said marketers are usually concerned with question: How emotions shape behavior or how behaviors produce emotion?

‘Feedback system’ is the mechanism offered by Baumeister et al. (2007) to answer that question. In this system individuals are presumed to be able to predict future emotions as consequences of present behavior. Therefore, they will manage their behavior to get expected emotions or to avoid unexpected behavior.

Actually, the mechanism that underlying feedback system has been used long before Baumeister et al. (2007).  Cron, and Slocum (1997) stated that people are presumed to be able to predict emotional consequences of their success or failure to achieve goals in the future. This anticipation energizing present effort to get success or avoid failure. Perugini and Bagozzi (2001) adopted this approach and put anticipated emotion (AE) into model-of-goal directed behavior (MGB) used to predict behavioral intention. Other future behavior, such as regret theory (Bell, 1985), disappointment theory (Bell, 1985), and decision effect theory (Meller, Swartz and Ritov (1999), are based on this mechanism.

Individual can predict emotions of others as consequence of his or her choice of behavior. This notion is reflected in Baumeister et al. (2007) statement:

“A person performs a behavior that causes distress to a friend. The person therefore feels guilty afterwards. The guilt prompts the person to consider what he or she did wrong and how to avoid similar outcomes in the future. The next time a comparable situation arises, there may be a brief twinge of guilty affect that helps the person choose a course of action that will not bring distress to friends (and more guilt to the self)” (page 7-8).

Simamora (2016) conceptualized this prediction as anticipated emotion of others. He categorized others as proponents and opponents. Proponents is anybody that has good relationship with or expect the success of the individuals to achieve goals. On the other hand, those who have ‘sirik’ behavior on individuals’ achievement are called ‘opponents’.

Sirik is a behavior known widely in Indonesia.  This behavior can be defined as feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees others’ fail or suffer misfortune and feeling of unhappiness over others’ good fortune. The first part of this definition: “the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees others’ fail or suffer misfortune” is described in Germany’s as schadenfreude (Heider 1958 in van Dijk et al. 2011).  The second part: “The feeling of unhappiness over others’ good fortune” is reflected in social envy.  So, sirik behavior includes schadenfreude and social envy.

Furthermore, Simamora (2016) suggested that anticipated emotions of proponents and opponents has different pattern in influencing individuals motivation to achieve goals. Positive anticipated emotions of proponents (i.e. pride, liking, happy, joyful, satisfied, pleased, like, pleased, happy, inspired, pleasure, surprise, thankful, joyful, win, released, confident and negative emotions of opponents (i.e. dislike, unhappy, uncomfortable, scornful, jittery, cynical, sad, despicable) could be more influential when possibility to get success is high. On the other hand, when individuals are faced with high risk to failure, negative anticipated emotion of proponents (i.e. anger, regret, sad, disappointed, burdened, despicable, ashamed, cynical, sadness, hopeless, dislike, anxiety, frustration) and positive anticipated emotions of opponents (i.e. dislike, unhappy, uncomfortable, scornful, jittery, cynical, sad, despicable) take the lead in influencing motivation to achieve goals.

This study aims, firstly, to reveals the framework of anticipated emotion of others proposed by Simamora (2016). Secondly, this study is also purposed to verify the influence of emotion on  motivation to achieve goals.  To achieve these objectives, this study is arranged as follow. First, the author presented brief theory of emotion, anticipated emotion of others, and achievement motivation. Second, the specified research methodology to achieve robust result is propsed. Third, the ending part of the article is fulfilled with discussion and direction for practical and academic implementation of the research.

Conceptual Framework

Toward Anticipated Emotion of Others

Bagozzi, Gopinath and Nyer (1999:184) defined emotion as:

“… A mental state of readiness that arises from cognitive appraisals of events or thoughts; has a phenomenological tone; is accompanied by physiological processes; is often expressed physically (e.g., in gestures, posture, facial features); and may result in specific actions to affirm or cope with the emotion, depending on its nature and meaning for the person having it.”

Above definition reflected that emotions are generated by cognitive appraisal, i.e. an interpretation of an event that cause emotions (Bagozzi, Gopinath and Nyer 1999, Watson and Spence, 2007).  Nevertheless, emotions are phenomena in daily life that are experienced consciously and cognitively (Wilson, 2002).

Bagozzi, Baumgartner, and Pieters (1998) stated that emotions can be the goals itself that can be experienced through goals achievement. They suggested that people are able to predict the emotions generated by success (e.g., excitement, delight, happiness, gladness, satisfaction, pride, and self-assurance) or failure (e.g., anger, frustration, guilt, shame, sadness, disappointment, depression, worry, uncomfortableness, and fear) to achieve goals. That means as decision maker, an individuals can anticipate the consequences of his or her behavioral options, its consequences and affective reactions to those consequences (Perugini and Bagozzi, 2001; Bohm and Pfister, 2008). This anticipated emotion will motivate individuals to achieve goals or to avoid failure (Perugini and Bagozzi, 2001; Baumgartner et al., 2008; Baumeister et al. 2007).

While the researchers commonly paid attention to the actor’s anticipated emotions,  Simamora (2016) paid his attention on anticipated emotion of people around the actor that might influence his or her motivation to achieve goals. He calls it as anticipated emotions of others.

He elaborates others as consist of proponents and opponents. Proponents are those who have good relationship with and expect good fortunes of the individuals.  On the other hand, proponents are those who have sirik behavior over individuals.  Both parties will experience different emotions in response to success or failure of individuals in goals achievement (Table 1). This is in accordance with motivational state (rewarding/punishing) from Roseman (1991).

Dimension ‘probability’ from Roseman (1991) is also  used to specify the strength of emotions. Under the situation individual has high possibility of success (certain), proponents should have strong negative emotions over the individuals’ failure to achieve goals.  Positive emotions of opponent should be stronger over such failure.  On the other hand, under the situation where individuals have low possibility of success, proponents should experience strong positive emotions and opponents experience strong negative emotions for individuals’ success.

According to Simamora (2016), not every behavior should be counted in this mechanism. The proper behavior should be the one whose positive outcomes are viewed as gift to the proponents or has prestige value that envies opponents.

Something can be considered as gift as long as it gives positive emotions to the receiver (Simamora, 2016). On the other hand, to be viewed as  prestige thing, according to Vigneron and Johnson (1999), an object should fulfill following criteria: (1) viewed as symbol of status or wealth, (2) not everyone can own the source of prestige, (3) perceived social value of the source can be instrumental in the decision to get them, (4) the objects contain high perceived hedonic value that satisfies emotional desire and (5) prestige is derived partly from complexity of technical aspects of objects.

Table 1. Framework of Anticipated Emotion of Others
OTHERS
Proponents Opponents
Positive Emotion (Caused by Success) Negative Emotions (Caused by Failure) Positive Emotions (Caused by Failure) Negative Emotions (Caused by Success)
Liking, happy,  satisfied,  like, pleased, happy, inspired, pleasure

Pride, surprise, thankful, joyful, win, released, confident

Anger, regret, sad, disappointed, burdened, despicable, ashamed, cynical, frustration

Sadness, hopeless, dislike, anxiety

Happy, surprise, joyful, released, satisfied, win, joyful

Excited, pleased, like, pleased

Dislike, unhappy, uncomfortable

Scornful, jittery, cynical, sad, despicable

Source: Adapted from Simamora, B. (2016). Achievement as gift and prestige: Formulating anticipated emotions of others as new determinant of consumers’ motivation. Asean Marketing Journal, 8 (1), 29-53.

  1. Based on proposed framework and the accompanying arguments, the author formulates following hypothesis:

H1:  Pride, liking, happy, joyful, satisfied, pleased, like, pleased, happy, inspired, pleasure surprise, thankful, joyful, win, released, confident are the emotions predicted to be experienced by proponents if individuals are success to achieve achievement goal.

H2: Those emotions (H1) will be stronger when (a) individuals’ possibility to success is low and (b) achievement is presented as gift to proponents.

H3: Anger, regret, sad, disappointed, burdened, despicable, ashamed, cynical, sadness, hopeless, dislike, anxiety, frustration, are the emotions that will be experienced by proponents when individuals are fail to achieve achievement goal.

H4: Those emotions (H3) will be stronger when (a) individuals’ possibility of success is high and (b) the achievement has high prestige value.

H5: Happy, surprise, joyful, released, satisfied, win, joyful, excited, pleased, like, and pleased, are emotions that will be experienced by opponents when individuals fail to achieve goals.

H6: Those emotions (H5) will be stronger when (a) individuals’ possibility of success is high and (b) the achievement has high prestige value.

H7: Dislike, unhappy, uncomfortable, scornful, jittery, cynical, sad, despicable, are the emotions that are predicted to be experienced by the opponents when individuals’ are success to achieve achievement goal.

H8: Those emotions (H7) will be stronger when (a) individual possibility to get success is low and (b) prestige value of achievement is high.

Achievement Motivation and Elicited-Emotions of Others

Elliot (1999) defined achievement motivation as “the energization and direction of the competence-based affect, cognition, and behavior”.  He proposed three dichotomous achievement goals, they are: mastery goals that are focused on attaining task-related skill or competence, performance-approach goals that are focused on attaining normative competence, and performance avoidance-goals that are focused on avoiding normative incompetence.  He asserted that the first two goals should be owned by those that have high self-efficacy and the third category should be found among those with low self-efficacy.   It means, he said, achievement motivation is only relevant to those with high self-efficacy.

According to Rabideau (2005), when talking about achievement motivation, we need to focus on competence as well as incompetence. He said that the first two categories of Eliot (1999) categorization can be addressed to high capability people, while the third category is for those who have low capability.  Nichol (1984) stated that in achievement behavior, individuals try to develop or demonstrate high ability or to avoid demonstrating low ability.  This implies, he said, people desire success to the extent that it indicates high ability and seek to avoid failure to the extent that it indicates low ability. Therefore, achievement goals should be linkage to individuals capability (Nichols, 1984; Eliot, 1999; Tyson,  Linnenbrink-Garcia, and Hillo have, 2009). Those who have high capability own performance goals through which they demonstrate their skills and competence. Meanwhile, those who have low capability will have mastery goals through which they avoid the impression of incompetence or to avoid failures (Nichols, 1984; Eliot, 1999) or to avoid failures (Tyson,  Linnenbrink-Garcia, and Hillo have, 2009).

Achievement as gift or prestige elicites emotions of others. Individuals are able to predict  the emotions of others that accompany their achievement, as depicted in Table 1 (Simamora, 2017). Through a mechanism they called “feedback system”, Baumeister et al. (2007) stated that anticipated emotions can influence behavior. Baumgartner et al. (2008) said that the influence occurs through behavioral intention.  Perugini and Bagozzi (2001) and Hunter (2006) revealed influence on behavioral intention occurs through desires that has motivational quality inherently.

The same mechanism is expected to work in the relationship between anticipated emotions of others and the actors’ achievement motivation. The authors specifies that relationship with the help of self-regulatory focus theory from Crowe and Higgins (1997) and Higgins (2002).

Moderation of Self-Regulatory Focus

Miceli and Castelfranchi (2015) said that anticipated emotion can be a side goal or a motivating goals.  Helliwell    and    Putnam   (2004)  stated that significant others are also care for individuals success or failure, especially if goal-achievement is considered as gift to significant others. Based on Chen (2009)’s vertical goals, we can say that individuals can be motivated to achieve goals or to avoid failures to give to or to avoid proponents or opponents from certain emotions.

Simamora (2016) proposed the moderation of regulatory focus to increase the accuracy of the influence of AEO on achievement motivation (Figure 1).  This idea is based on regulatory focus theory (Crowe and Higgins, 1997; Higgins, 2002).

Emotions can be occured simultaneously (Brown,  Crown,  &  Slocum,  1997;  Oliver, 1993; Bagozzi & Dholakia, 2002; Bagozzi, Dholakia & Basuroy, 2003;  Perugini & Bagozzi, 2001; Taylor et al. 2006).  But, certain emotions can be more influencing that other. In this study, the influence of AEOs on achievement motivation are assumed to be moderated by by self-regulatory focus. This assumption is based on self-regulated learning theory where feelings and actions are planned and systematically adapted to affect motivation in performing task (Kadhirayan & Suresh, 2008; Pintrich, 2004).

Self-regulatory focus theory distinguishes between promotion focus concerns with nurturance or a prevention focus concerns with security (Crowe  &  Higgins,  1997;  Higgins, 2002). People   with   promotion   focus   will concern with their hopes and aspirations (ideals). Success and failure are experienced as the presence of positive outcomes (a gain) and the absence of positive outcomes (a non-gain). This positive outcome focus leads to the strategic inclination as approach in a state of eagerness (see Crowe & Higgins, 1997). People have less attention on risk of failure. In other word, they are driven mostly by positive motivation or motivation to look after positive outcomes (see Schifman & Kanuk, 2012; Solomon, 2006).

With high optimism to get success, people in this category are assumed to be more motivated to please proponents. Based on Douglas and Isherwood (1979), people in this category can also use their goal-achievement to envy others. These arguments are formulated in following hypothesis:

H9: Among people with promotion focus, (a) the influence of positive anticipated emotions of proponent on achievement motivation is higher than the influence of negative anticipated emotions, (b) the influence of negative anticipated emotions of opponents is higher than the influence of positive anticipated emotions.

People with prevention focus concentrate their thoughts, feelings, and actions to avoid mistakes that potentially cause failure (Schunck, et al., 2000). They tend to avoid failure rather than to struggle for achievement (Crowe & Higgins, 1997).  They try to avoid mistakes  in goal striving. Success is perceived as the absence of negative outcomes (a non-loss). The presence of negative outcomes is viewed as failure. The strategic inclination in this category is avoidance in a state of vigilance  (Crowe  &  Higgins, 1997; Forster, Grand, Idson, & Higgins, 2001; Higgins, 2002).

Effort to avoid failure can be motivated by anticipated negative emotions of proponent. Achievement motivation can be generated by intentional effort to hinder proponents from negative emotions. As stated before, individual’s failure is responded by proponents with negative emotions. People with prevention focus aware of this and they will tend to hinder proponents from feeling negative emotions through failure avoidance rather than to give them positive emotions through goal achievement (Simamora, 2016).

In anti-social relationships, individual failure is good news for the opponents that makes them feel happy. Individuals hate their opponents’ feel of joy. Individuals are aware of that and they are able to predict such opponents’ emotions. They could also be motivated to avoid failure as part of effort to block opponents’ feel of joy (Simamora, 2016).

The author formalizes above arguments in following hypothesis:

H10: Among people with prevention focus, (a) the influence of negative anticipated emotions of proponent on achievement motivation is higher than the influence of positive anticipated emotions of proponents, (b) the influence of positive anticipated emotions of opponents is higher than the influence of negative anticipated emotions opponents.

(To be Continued)