Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




June Cotte


To date, music has been primarily investigated as an atmospheric component of retail environments, or as a manipulable variable to assess consumer behaviour responses. However, across disciplines, listening to music has been shown to foster group membership, decrease anxiety, improve mood, and induce strong physical reactions such as thrills and chills. My dissertation research looks at closing this gap by investigating how music can offer more to its consumer than is currently understood. Using a mixed-method approach, I first explore the phenomenon of experiencing a favourite song. Following that, I experimentally investigate: 1) how and whether different modes of music can induce an emotive, cognitive and imagery filled experience (auditory transportation), 2) whether this transportation experience results in differences across songs that have happy versus sad personal connotations, and 3) whether manipulating varying levels of auditory transportation can in turn influence other consumer-related downstream behaviors. The contribution this research stands to make includes a theoretical one: I introduce a theory (transportation) previously limited to the visual domain into the auditory domain, while also systematically investigating whether it can predict psychological changes, and if these changes in turn influence marketplace interactions. Practically, I involve participants in the choosing of the music stimuli for experimentation, thereby not only increasing validity, but also addressing an important gap in the study of music consumption as a form of experiential consumption.