Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why making our own choices is more satisfying when pleasure is the goal

Date:
August 24, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
When it comes to our own pleasure, we like having a choice, but when it comes to utilitarian goals, we're just as happy being told what to do, according to a new study.

When it comes to our own pleasure, we like having a choice, but when it comes to utilitarian goals, we're just as happy being told what to do, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Related Articles


"Imagine a patron at a fixed-menu restaurant who is dining either for the sheer pleasure of tasting the food or to achieve some higher-level goal -- for example, a better understanding of the local culture," write authors Simona Botti (London Business School) and Ann L. McGill (University of Chicago). "In these two cases, would the diner's satisfaction with the restaurant's pre-determined choices differ from the satisfaction she would experience with her own menu choices?"

The authors conducted four experiments in which they presented participants the same choice-set options but varied the process (how the item was chosen) and the choice goal. In all the studies, the participants could either personally choose one of the options or they were assigned one of the options by a third party. The participants were told either that the goal was simply to enjoy the outcome of the choice (hedonic goal) or to reach a higher-end consequence (utilitarian goal).

In the first study, participants were exposed to a selection of different virtual museum visits after being assigned to be either tourists visiting the museum for fun or art students visiting to research their theses. In subsequent studies, participants chose (or were assigned) massages, gourmet food, and workout regimens.

"Results consistently show that the outcome of a self-made choice is more satisfying than the outcome of an externally made choice when the goal is hedonic, but when the goal is utilitarian there is no difference in satisfaction between choosers and non-choosers," the authors write. "A lack of choice feels less like a deprivation of the capacity to determine one's own fate when the goal choice is utilitarian than when it is hedonic."

Companies like airlines or restaurants that cater to business customers and retailers that offer necessities should take heed. "In these contexts, rather than being dissatisfied by the lack of choice, consumers may end up just as happy," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simona Botti and Ann L. McGill. The Locus of Choice: Personal Causality and Satisfaction with Hedonic and Utilitarian Decisions. Journal of Consumer Research, April 2011

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Why making our own choices is more satisfying when pleasure is the goal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824110855.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, August 24). Why making our own choices is more satisfying when pleasure is the goal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824110855.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Why making our own choices is more satisfying when pleasure is the goal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824110855.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins