Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Business Administration -- Marketing

Committee Director

Yuping Liu-Thompkins

Committee Member

Mohammad Najand

Committee Member

Chuanyi Tang


Essay 1: Controversies regarding the advertising spending-sales relationship have spawned many studies in marketing. Previous research on macroeconomic influencers of this relationship has focused mostly on objective macroeconomic indicators such as cyclical contraction and expansion. Extending these previous studies, the current research argues that sales response to advertising is also contingent upon the pervasive feelings present in the macroeconomic environment, above and beyond the influence from objective macroeconomic factors. Specifically, it argues that future outlook negativity and uncertainty in macroeconomic sentiment can affect the ad spending-sales relationship. Analyzing sales and advertising spending data for salty snacks in conjunction with macroeconomic sentiment data from Thomson Reuters Market-Psych Indices, I found that the effect of ad spending on sales is stronger when macroeconomic future outlook is negative than when it is positive, and when the sentiment is more uncertain than when it is certain. Furthermore, the moderating effects of future outlook negativity and uncertainty on the ad spending-sales relationship are stronger for brands with a low market share in comparison with brands with a high market share.

Essay 2: Although notable literature exists on individuals’ mood valence and food consumption choices, the findings are somewhat mixed showing the possibility of unhealthy food choices in both highly positive and highly negative affective states. Furthermore, the effect of affective dimensions other than valence has been explored much less, and limited research in this stream has focused exclusively on positive emotions. Addressing these gaps, the current research investigates the effect of emotional arousal and uncertainty on individuals’ food consumption choice in the negative emotional domain. Analyzing the sales data of 1,128 salty snack products over five years (2008-2012) from Information Resource Incorporated (IRI) and consumer well-being data from the weekly Gallup U.S. poll, along with two lab experiments, I find that, not all negative emotions have an equal impact on food choices. Among negative emotions, high-arousal, and uncertain emotions are more likely to lead to unhealthy food consumption choices than low-arousal and certain emotions. However, the process underlying the influence of arousal and uncertainty are different, which necessitate different interventions to counter their effects.


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