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This paper utilizes the cognitive-neoassociationistic model, primacy and recency effects to propose superior memory for previously encountered irritating encounters. Since consumers do not forget irritating stimuli encountered in the past, this paper addresses the under-researched issue - how do consumers handle previously encountered irritations? The paper models its propositions on previous research on negative emotions (Nyer 1997) and suggests that consumers choose one of these paths to handle their irritation: taking no action, engaging in negative word of mouth (NWOM) behavior or complain to the company. Along this vein, the paper identifies three segments based on consumer responses to irritation: "No Action", "Negative Word of Mouth" and "Complain". It is recommended that companies should attempt to convert the "No Action" and "NWOM" segments into consumers who complain so that companies can utilize the feedback to formulate appropriate action strategies. The proposed irritation resolution model recommends integrating social networking tools in devising effective strategies.


This article was published by North American Business Press

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