Fotolia.Mike Orlov

The influence of music on consumers‘ risk-taking behavior

15.02.2017 | Research
This research aims at identifying a potential direct influence of music on consumers’ risk taking behavior.

// Goal: This research aims at identifying a potential direct influence of music on consumers’ risk taking behavior.
// Period: 02/2017-02/2018
// Project staff: Alexandra Brunner-Sperdin, Lukas Fuchs
// Partner: Dr. Dagmar Abfalter (Institut für Kulturmanagement und Kulturwissenschaft (IKM)), Dr. Robert Schorn (UMIT)

Consumers continuously take decisions under risk when they purchase products or services. Since Raymond Bauer (1960) proposed that decision making in consumer behavior can primarily be considered as risk taking, a substantial body of research has been conducted that establishes a theory of risk taking in consumer behavior (Mitchell, 1999; Taylor, 1974). Especially in service settings, consumers frequently perceive risk as high, as the intangible nature of services increases the level of uncertainty.
In marketing research, music serves as a consciously as well as a non-consciously perceived atmospheric cue during product and service consumption situations. Prior research gives evidence for a relationship between music and consumers’ mood as well as for an effect of mood on risk-taking behavior.
However, the question of whether music plays a role in consumers’ propensity to risk remains largely unexplored in an economic context. A major strand of models and theories in this context deals with the influence of music on mood (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974; Bruner 1990); others suggest a significant relationship of mood on risk behavior (Isen & Geva, 1987; Isen & Patrick, 1983), implying a mediated effect through mood. In contrast, our research aims to identify a potential direct influence of music on risk behavior.
This project proposal aims to evaluate whether environmental stimuli, such as music mode, tempo and percussiveness and notes per measure, are important factors in shaping individuals’ actual and intended risk-taking behavior as well as satisfaction with the decision made. In a series of experimental studies, consumers’ risk-taking behavior will be observed in a variety of risk situations under the influence of music cues based on factors gleaned from preliminary experimental studies and a comprehensive literature review.