The impact of COVID-19 on hedonic and utilitarian decision-making

  • Kaj Annika Oestmann (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


A Chinese virus has managed to bring the whole world to a standstill. This circumstance has forced people to adapt their usual lifestyle. COVID-19 has brought changes in different areas of life, including consumer behavior. For many, the pandemic was a reminder of what is important and needed in life: security, trust and health instead of excessive spending on items that focus on delivering solely satisfaction. The current situation results in even more emotions that are involved during the process of decision-making, leading to it becoming increasingly complex and harder to prepare for. With the presence of the virus, people experience emotions that steer their buying attention increasingly towards utilitarian products. With purchasing hedonic items on the other hand, comes along the risk for justification to oneself or to others. Additionally, the reminder of the virus leads to less expected satisfaction from hedonic products, proving that the negative emotions resulting from said reminder overshadow the outcome. The categorization of several utilitarian and hedonic attributes and products has proven to be influenced by the manipulation, indicating great relevance for the industry. From a marketing perspective, it is crucial to understand these changes and prepare for them accordingly. Strategies regarding the marketing mix, a clear positioning of products and an understanding of the process a customer goes through prior, during and post a purchasing decision are significant, especially in unpredictable times like these.
Date of Award27 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Niza Braga (Supervisor)


  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic
  • Consumer behavior
  • Hedonic
  • Satisfaction choice
  • Decision-making
  • Justification


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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