When luxurious products disappoint, people feel more guilty than when utilitarian products do:
The primary insights this research provides are as follows: (1) a negative experience with the choice of a product with superior utilitarian and inferior hedonic benefits (e.g., a highly functional cell phone with poor attractiveness) over a product with superior hedonic and inferior utilitarian benefits evokes feelings of sadness, disappointment, and anger, (2) a negative experience with the choice of a product with superior hedonic and inferior utilitarian benefits (e.g., a highly attractive cell phone with poor functionality) over a product with superior utilitarian and inferior hedonic benefits evokes feelings of guilt and anxiety.
This is interesting because the failure of the product to satisfy isn’t caused by the indulgence of the buyer’s decision to buy it. Yet it’s as thoug the blame goes to the last decision the buyer made, and the problem with that decision is taken to be whatever felt bad about it at the time, however unrelated to the failure at hand. Or does the disappointment seem like punishment somehow for the original greed?
How general is this pattern? I think I feel more guilty when my less admirable intentions fail. Can you think of examples or counterexamples?