Handbook on the Experience Economy
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Handbook on the Experience Economy

Edited by Jon Sundbo and Flemming Sørensen

This illuminating Handbook presents the state-of-the-art in the scientific field of experience economy studies. It offers a rich and varied collection of contributions that discuss different issues of crucial importance for our understanding of the experience economy. Each chapter reflects diverse scientific viewpoints from disciplines including management, mainstream economics and sociology to provide a comprehensive overview.
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Chapter 8: Experiencing and experiences: a psychological framework

Christian Jantzen


Experiences are mental and corporeal phenomena. As such, they are psychological. This chapter sketches a framework for understanding the psychological issues implied in dealing experientially with products. This framework is based on two assumptions. Firstly, experiencing is a coherent structure of present sensing and feeling informed by past experiences. Secondly, experiencing is a specific structure by making us aware of the act of sensing and feeling and by questioning the validity of past experiences. When asked to recount an experience, people readily reproduce stories from their immediate or long bygone past. A friendly smile in a crowded bus after a day at work, a sudden noise disturbing the serenity of the moment, a walk in fresh snow with one’s parents many years ago, an anxiously anticipated rendezvous or a dramatic split-up all qualify as experiences. Experiences occur, whether they are planned, designed and marketed or not. They are incidents, imposing themselves on the ordinary routines of everyday life. As such, incidents may be easy to remember. They might even become core elements in people’s life stories like, for example, a rendezvous or a divorce. These considerations have important implications for understanding the experience economy. Firstly, experiences are not just goods and services to be produced or consumed. Experiences are neither bought nor sold.

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