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Sharing Experiences in the Attention Economy: How Receiving Attention Influences Post-sharing Satisfaction

Matthew J Hall, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Consumers frequently tell others about their consumption experiences. While previous work has shown numerous interpersonal and intrapersonal benefits such sharing can have for the sharer, little is known about how sharing an experience might influence consumers’ evaluations of the experience itself. The present research demonstrates that post-experience satisfaction is enhanced when consumers receive higher levels of attention from sharing the experience. This effect is observed even when that attention is neutral (i.e., not positively valenced or explicitly affirming), and thus provides no information about how others perceive the sharer or the quality of the experience. This occurs because receiving attention increases consumers’ social self-esteem (i.e., their views regarding the strength of their social relationships). In support of the social self-esteem mechanism, the effects of received attention on post-sharing satisfaction are attenuated among consumers who are less concerned with managing social perceptions (i.e., those low in public self-consciousness) and when attention for the same experience is received by another consumer. Additional boundary conditions are also demonstrated, including the expectations consumers have regarding the amount of attention they will receive from sharing, as well as consumers’ initial motivations for consuming the experience (i.e., experiential involvement). Thus, this dissertation demonstrates a unique mechanism through which sharing an experience can influence consumer outcomes and highlights the relevance of consumer-to-consumer attention exchange for marketers. Further, because received attention increases satisfaction after the experience ends, it demonstrates a novel way that consumers can derive additional social value from experiences that have already concluded. However, dissatisfaction and negative self-evaluations can also arise if received attention falls short of expectations. Nearly all consumers share at least some of their experiences with others. The present research demonstrates a mechanism (i.e., received attention) through which this sharing can enhance (or reduce) the value consumers derive from these firm-provided experiences. In doing so, this dissertation highlights a unique way that firms can potentially help enhance the customer experience. Potential managerial and social implications of these findings are discussed.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Hall, Matthew J, "Sharing Experiences in the Attention Economy: How Receiving Attention Influences Post-sharing Satisfaction" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27836886.