The Dynamics of Payment and Pleasure: Monetary and Social Interactions in Shared Consumption Experiences

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


In the wake of a post-pandemic loneliness epidemic, consumer behaviour has shifted toward prioritising shared experiences despite increasing financial constraints. While prior studies have separately examined the effects of monetary transactions in gifting and financial management within monogamous relationships, the nuanced role and effect of payment dynamics in these shared experiences remains unclear.

Across a series of experimental studies, we investigate how different payment arrangements (split arrangements vs. consumer vs. other consumer pay the full amount) affect consumer happiness within shared experiences. We find that when consumers are with close social ties, they derive more happiness from paying themselves in full (vs. split or other consumers) for the shared experience. Conversely, in the absence of social connectedness (i.e., with a weak social ties) consumers are happier when they are able to conserve monetary resources (i.e., split or other consumer pays). These patterns are consistent regardless of the value of the experience admission and within ecologically valid parameters for close social ties, but when the value of the admission increases, consumers are even happier when conserving financial resources among weak social ties. Findings suggest that there is a complex relationship between payment dynamics and happiness in shared consumption experiences that is dependent on the social ties and contributes to a deeper understanding of consumer well-being in experiential contexts.

Additional information

Invited research seminar ANU.
Period23 May 2024
Held atAustralian National University, Australia, Australian Capital Territory