Attribution theory and negative emotions in tourism experiences

Yiwei Zhang, Girish Prayag, Hanqun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Existing tourist emotion studies are biased toward examining tourists' positive emotions due to their positive influence on a range of post-consumption behaviors. Tourists' negative emotions have potentially a stronger influence on future behaviors, with a significant omission being how tourists explain their own and others' behavior. Using attribution theory and the psychological constructivist view of emotions, we evaluate the relationship between nine main categories of tourists' negative emotions identified in travelogues (disgust, distress, anger, fear, sadness, regret, shame, boredom, and shock) and their attributions (locus of control and stability). By analyzing 298 travelogues via an a priori approach, and using correspondence analysis, the results show that feelings of shame are attributed to self-control while feelings of distress, regret, and sadness are attributed to the behavior of other tourists. Negative emotions such as anger and disgust are attributed to stability while the negative emotion of shock is ascribed to instability. Theoretical and managerial implications are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100904
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
Early online date25 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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