Defense Date

Summer 8-25-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name



Business Administration

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Brian Rutherford

Committee Member or Co-Chair

Armen Tashchian


Hyunju Shin


According to cognitive appraisal theory of emotion (CAT), firms have the opportunity to influence negative primary appraisals in captive services during the secondary appraisal process through gift giving. Negative consumer emotions can be affected by uncertainties from captive services due to the limitation of consumer power in decision making, control in how decisions are being made, and voicing concerns. Service uncertainties can be influenced by specificity or lack of time and waiting, busyness levels, and updated daily performance.

Through a series of four experiments, using samples from Prolific, this study explores how different gift types and uncertainty levels influence emotional states and firm performance indicators. The findings in this paper confirm that relevant gifts have positive, main effects on emotional states psychological comfort, positive re-interpretation coping, and firm performance indicators. Moreover, uncertainty levels, low and high, have significant differences in effects on emotions and firm performance indicators. Despite the significant main effects, only psychological comfort was influenced by the interaction effects of gift types and uncertainty levels, indicating that high uncertainty may mitigate the efforts of giving relevant gifts.

This study extends CAT through gift giving in captive services by demonstrating that relevant gifts and uncertainty levels can influence consumer attitudes and behaviors. Furthermore, understanding these elements of gift giving will contribute to effective business strategies by understanding how emotions can positively affect consumer experiences and how gifts influence satisfaction and repurchase behaviors.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 26, 2028