Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sticking to our goals: What's the best approach for success?

Date:
April 16, 2012
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers have an easier time starting toward a goal than finishing it, but according to a new study, a shift in attention can make all the difference in reaching the finish line.

Consumers have an easier time starting toward a goal than finishing it, but according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, a shift in attention can make all the difference in reaching the finish line.

"Starting toward a goal can often feel easier than following through and reaching this goal's end state, as individuals with good intentions often fail to invest the time, effort, or monetary resources required to bring their goals to completion," write authors Minjung Koo (Sungkyunkwan University) and Ayelet Fishbach (Booth School, University of Chicago). For example, many consumers sign up for rewards programs without completing the steps necessary to earn their rewards.

The authors explored what they call the "small-area hypothesis," which relates to the way people monitor their progress toward goal completion. For example, consumers in a coffee-shop rewards program can either pay attention to the number of purchases they have completed or the number of purchases they have yet to make to receive the free beverage reward. "We predict that individuals will express greater motivation to pursue actions when they focus on whichever is smaller in size -- the area of their completed actions or of their remaining actions -- because motivation increases with the perceived impact of each new step, and each new step will appear more impactful if compared to a smaller set of other steps toward the goal," the authors write.

The authors conducted several experiments with loyalty programs, including a coffee shop and a bagel store. They manipulated customers' attention by making different frequent buyer cards, some of which emphasized accumulated progress and others that showed remaining progress. "For participants who were closer to getting a reward, an emphasis on remaining progress (small area) increased motivation more than on completed purchases (large area)," the authors write. Customers who were far from the rewards said they were more motivated to finish filling the cards when the cards emphasized completed (small area) versus remaining progress (large area).

"Marketers should design or structure feedback interventions that emphasize small areas and thus increase the perceived impact of the next action," 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. Minjung Koo and Ayelet Fishbach. The Small-Area Hypothesis: Effects of Progress Monitoring on Goal Adherence. Journal of Consumer Research, October 2012 (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Sticking to our goals: What's the best approach for success?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416113113.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2012, April 16). Sticking to our goals: What's the best approach for success?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416113113.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Sticking to our goals: What's the best approach for success?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416113113.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. 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