This research investigates the relevance, characteristics, and influence of experiences of freedom as a source of consumer happiness. A qualitative study (Study 1) underscores the existence of two types of experiences of freedom in consumption that bring happiness to consumers: “freedom from” worries, stress, or everyday life and “freedom to” explore, decide, and enact who they are or want to become. A content analysis (Study 2) and an experiment (Study 3) show how these two types of experiences of freedom have different characteristics and are related to happiness in different ways: “freedom from” experiences are related to low positive emotional arousal (calm) and are more likely to foster hedonic, pleasure-based happiness, while “freedom to” experiences are more frequently associated with high positive emotional arousal (excitement) and are more likely to foster eudaimonic, meaning-based happiness. The results are discussed in terms of research, consumer and managerial implications.
Gaston-Breton, C., Brandi Sørensen, E., & Uth Thomsen, T. (2020). “I Want to Break Free!": How Experiences of Freedom Foster Consumer Happiness. Journal of Business Research, 121, 22-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.07.035