Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Go for broke: Consumers who set conservative goals feel less satisfied

Date:
June 27, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers who set conservative goals have a harder time achieving satisfaction than those who set ambitious goals, according to a new study. When cautious consumers meet their goals, they tend to raise the bar and compare themselves to the highest possible standards.

Consumers who set conservative goals have a harder time achieving satisfaction than those who set ambitious goals, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. When cautious consumers meet their goals, they tend to raise the bar and compare themselves to the highest possible standards.

Related Articles


Authors Cecile K. Cho (University of California, Riverside) and Venkataramani Johar (Columbia University) compared people who set conservative goals with people who set ambitious goals. They focused on situations in which goals were achieved, and measured the level of satisfaction with the achieved goals.

In one experiment, the researchers asked participants to set a target goal before they collected information on several stocks and picked three. They were then provided with the performance of the three stocks they picked. "When participants find out that their investment goals have been met, those who set a conservative goal are less satisfied than those who set ambitious goals," the authors write. The same was true with a subsequent experiment with puzzles.

"Satisfaction is often driven by comparing the level of performance to a different standard than one's initial goal," the authors write. They found that when participants were reminded of the goals they had set, they reached similar levels of satisfaction, regardless of whether the performance was low or high.

The authors found that people's beliefs about the nature of their skills and abilities played a role in their goal setting and their satisfaction level. People who believe that their skills can be improved with practice are equally satisfied with relatively high or low levels of performance. But people who believe that abilities are fixed tend to set higher goals and feel less satisfaction.

"People are wistful of 'what could be,' especially if they believe they cannot attain the potential," the authors write. The tendency to upward compare is common in investment decisions. Although investors are advised to put together their portfolios to reflect their risk tolerance, the returns on their chosen investment funds often seem inferior to the better performing funds.

"Reminding investors of their long-term investment goals and their risk-tolerance levels is likely to counter the tendency to compare to the top-performing alternatives, and can keep investors satisfied even if they do not receive dazzling returns," 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. Cecile K. Cho and Venkataramani Johar. Attaining Satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research, online April 19, 2011; print December 2011 DOI: 10.1086/660115

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Go for broke: Consumers who set conservative goals feel less satisfied." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509113731.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, June 27). Go for broke: Consumers who set conservative goals feel less satisfied. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509113731.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Go for broke: Consumers who set conservative goals feel less satisfied." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509113731.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Airplane Seat Choice Says a Lot About You

Your Airplane Seat Choice Says a Lot About You

Buzz60 (Dec. 11, 2014) Are you an aisle or window seat person? Expedia and top psychologists say that choice says a lot about your personality. Sean Dowling (Seandowlingtv) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
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