How Positive and Negative Experiences of Freedom Foster Consumer Happiness

Charlotte Gaston-Breton, Elin Sørensen, Thyra Uth Thomsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This article focuses on consumers’ experiences of freedom as a source of happiness. In three studies (a multi-sensory sculpting study, a survey, and an experiment), we demonstrate the presence, meaning, and role of experiencing freedom through consumption and investigate how this fosters consumer happiness. The findings underscore the existence of negative and positive experiences of freedom in the everyday consumption of goods: respectively, “freedom from” worries and stress and “freedom to” be oneself and achieve self-realization. We show that negative experiences of “freedom from” are more likely to foster hedonic happiness while positive experiences of “freedom to” are more likely to foster eudaimonic happiness. This research provides a typology of consumer experiences likely to enhance affective or meaningful relationships between firms and customers and informs consumers about routes to happiness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the EMAC 2020 Regional Conference
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherEuropean Marketing Academy. EMAC
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event2020 EMAC Regional Conference (Online) - Online (Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Zagreb)
Duration: 16 Sept 202019 Sept 2020
Conference number: 48


Conference2020 EMAC Regional Conference (Online)
LocationOnline (Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Zagreb)
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the European Marketing Academy


  • Experience
  • Freedom
  • Consumer happiness

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