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Immersive imaginative hedonism: Daydreaming as experiential ‘consumption’

Heath, Teresa; Nixon, Elizabeth

Immersive imaginative hedonism: Daydreaming as experiential ‘consumption’ Thumbnail


Teresa Heath


Imaginative pleasure through daydreaming has been theorised to be important in understanding the experience of desire and as a factor in escalating consumption. However, there is a risk this underplays the range of potentially immersive and intense experiences of daydreaming, prior to and independent of the purchase or use of marketplace commodities. Drawing on in-depth interviews, participant diaries and projective techniques, this study brings empirical data to extant conceptual work on the consumer imagination to examine the variety of consequences of elaborate daydreaming for commodity acquisition. We suggest that it need not necessarily perpetuate or expand 'actual' consumption, but may instead engender a longer, more reflective, pleasurable and meaningful experience from which purchase or acquisition may never materialise. Our study challenges accepted theories that associate daydreaming with consumerism or see it as an inevitable precursor to consumer disappointment, while shining a more positive light on the role of fantasising in shaping consumers' decisions.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2021
Publication Date Sep 1, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 1, 2021
Journal Marketing Theory
Print ISSN 1470-5931
Electronic ISSN 1741-301X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 351-370
Keywords consumerism; consumption; imagination; daydreaming; fantasy
Public URL
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