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Guilt is considered to be a negative emotion - a sense that you've done something wrong.
But, there is a special kind of enjoyment that comes from doing something you shouldn't do. For example, eating a forbidden chocolate bar can boost pleasure.
The connection between guilt and pleasure could be powerful for marketers. Appealing to a negative attribute that is connected to pleasure can be more effective at persuading people than directly talking about positive attributes.
We may think our choices are rational, but the things we think or feel in the moment affect our preferences. In a study, giving respondents a choice of donating $5 to charity or using it for a Starbucks espresso drink, the likelihood and amount of donations increased, compared to a second group who had to choose between a charitable donation and a $5 laundry detergent.
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