Retail shopping research recognizes that other consumers in a store can impact a consumer’s experience. However, the effects of accidental interpersonal touch (AIT) are only beginning to emerge in the literature. The current research presents three field experiments to illuminate the process that drives AIT effects. This research is the first to show that AIT effects are driven by arousal; specifically tense arousal rather than energetic arousal. The findings build on prior research to investigate moderators of the AIT effect – trait anxiety and social visibility. The findings show that AIT effects are amplified for anxious female consumers and situations where store bystanders activate feelings of embarrassment. Theoretical and managerial implications are offered.
- Retailing; Accidental interpersonal touch; Tense arousal; Energetic arousal; Consumer emotion; Field experiments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)