The research, which Kyra Wiggin (an independent researcher in Seattle) and Shailendra Jain (University of Washington) co-authored together with Reimann and originally appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, explored what happens when people’s curiosity is left unsatisfied. In a series of experiments, their research illustrates that the hunger for new knowledge may create a desire for rewards that leaves people with a craving. If we can’t satisfy that craving with the desired-for information, we may be more likely to turn to other forms of reward, such as rich food or indulgent spending. The appetite for information that accompanies unsatisfied curiosity is therefore converted into a generalized desire for rewards, which in turn may tempt indulgence.
Reimann, who joined the Eller College in 2013, applies experimental and quantitative approaches to investigating how and why people consume product experiences, and who and why people form, maintain and dissolve social relationships. A common denominator in his work is the idea that consumption is deeply rooted in an emotional-motivational system. Reimann holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California and a PhD in marketing from TU Freiberg (Germany).