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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. 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:
from the past week

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