Preliminary Evidence for the Neurophysiologic Effects of Online Coupons: Changes in Oxytocin, Stress, and Mood

Preliminary Evidence for the Neurophysiologic Effects of Online Coupons: Changes in Oxytocin,... Coupon use saved consumers $2.9 billion on packaged goods in 2012 with over 90 million Americans using online coupons. Besides saving money, why is coupon use so widespread? An experiment was run where participants (N = 90) shopped online and one‐half received a coupon worth $10. It was found that those who received a coupon had a 14% increase in oxytocin (OT), an 8% decrease in the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin, a 4% decrease in heart rate (HR), a 27% decrease in respiration, a 4% decrease in skin conductance levels, and a 90% increase in high‐frequency HR variability. These factors showed almost no change for those who did not receive a coupon. The findings indicate that coupons elicit physiological reactions similar to having a positive social interaction. In addition, self‐reported happiness correlated with the change in OT (r = 0.43). These findings provide new insights into why online coupon use is so pervasive. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychology & Marketing Wiley

Preliminary Evidence for the Neurophysiologic Effects of Online Coupons: Changes in Oxytocin, Stress, and Mood

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
"Copyright © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc."
ISSN
0742-6046
eISSN
1520-6793
DOI
10.1002/mar.20831
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Coupon use saved consumers $2.9 billion on packaged goods in 2012 with over 90 million Americans using online coupons. Besides saving money, why is coupon use so widespread? An experiment was run where participants (N = 90) shopped online and one‐half received a coupon worth $10. It was found that those who received a coupon had a 14% increase in oxytocin (OT), an 8% decrease in the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin, a 4% decrease in heart rate (HR), a 27% decrease in respiration, a 4% decrease in skin conductance levels, and a 90% increase in high‐frequency HR variability. These factors showed almost no change for those who did not receive a coupon. The findings indicate that coupons elicit physiological reactions similar to having a positive social interaction. In addition, self‐reported happiness correlated with the change in OT (r = 0.43). These findings provide new insights into why online coupon use is so pervasive.

Journal

Psychology & MarketingWiley

Published: Sep 1, 2015

References

  • Consumer response to promotional deals
    Cotton, B. C.; Babb, M. E.
  • Handbook of psychophysiology
    Dawson, M. E.; Schell, A. M.; Filion, D. L.
  • The New World of Economics: A Remake of a Classic for New Generations of Economics Students
    McKenzie, R. B.; Tullock, G.

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