We know that a huge proportion of purchase decisions are made at the time of purchase, so it’s no surprise that store designers obsess about the best way to construct a situation that elicits the most positive response from shoppers. Some researchers refer to the physical setting where a transaction occurs as a servicescape or more generally as a consumption environment.
Two basic dimensions, pleasure and arousal, determine whether we will react positively or negatively to a consumption environment. What it boils down to is that you can either enjoy or not enjoy a situation, and you can feel stimulated or not. However, different combinations of pleasure and arousal levels result in a variety of emotional states as the Figure shows.
Source: Michael R. Solomon, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being 12th ed., Pearson Education, p. 364.
An arousing situation can be either distressing or exciting, depending on whether the context is positive or negative (e.g., a street riot versus a street festival). So, a specific mood is some combination of pleasure and arousal. The state of happiness is high in pleasantness and moderate in arousal, whereas elation is high on both dimensions. A mood state (either positive or negative) biases our judgments of products and services in that direction.
Put simply, we give more positive evaluations when we’re in a good mood (this explains the popularity of the business lunch!).