Examining the effects of sensory visitor experience and expectation confirmation on visitor emotions: The moderating role of mood

Author Identifier

Amin Afsharifar


Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Business and Law

First Supervisor

Sam Huang

Second Supervisor

Gregory Willson


This research offers an in-depth exploration into the relationship between sensory visitor experience (SVE) and the emotional responses of visitors in Western Australia (WA). Grounded in cognitive appraisal and goal congruence theories, the study scrutinizes how different sensory stimuli, paired with expectation confirmation, influence positive emotions while also probing mood’s potential role as a moderator in these dynamics. The research design was sequential mixed method, encompassing qualitative semi-structured interviews and a survey with 408 participants from five prominent WA attractions. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling was employed to analyse the relationships within the theoretical framework. The qualitative findings underscored the pre-eminence of SVE in eliciting emotions such as joy and surprise. Also, according to the quantitative data, sight, smell, taste, and auditory experiences were validated as significant triggers of positive emotions, with tactile experiences demonstrating no impact. Although mood exhibited a direct tie with positive emotions, its assumed moderating effect was not evident either in SVE or expectation confirmation context. This multifaceted study enriches academic dialogue and presents valuable implications for augmenting tourism experiences in WA and potentially wider contexts.



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