Relaxation Increases Monetary Valuations

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Relaxation Increases Monetary Valuations

This research documents an intriguing empirical phenomenon whereby states of relaxation increase the monetary valuation of products. The authors demonstrate this phenomenon in six experiments involving two methods of inducing relaxation, a large number of products of different types, and various methods of assessing monetary valuation. In all six experiments, participants who were put into a relaxed affective state reported higher monetary valuations than participants who were put into an equally pleasant but less relaxed state. This effect seems to be caused by differences in relaxed and nonrelaxed people’s mental construals of the value of the products. Specifically, compared with less relaxed people, relaxed people seem to represent the value of products at a higher level of abstraction, which increases their perceptions of these products’ value. The phenomenon appears to reflect an inflation of value by relaxed people rather than a deflation of value by less relaxed people.