Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ambitious goals = satisfaction

18.08.2011
Study by assistant marketing professor finds people are more satisfied if they set ambitious goals as opposed to conservative goals

Consumers who set ambitious goals have a greater level of satisfaction compared to those who set conservative goals, according to a recently published paper by the Cecile K. Cho, a University of California, Riverside assistant marketing professor.

Cho and her co-author and Gita Venkataramani Johar, a professor at Columbia University, set up two experiments to compare people who set ambitious goals to those who set conservative goals. They focused on situations in which goals were achieved, and measured the level of satisfaction with the achieved goals.

"The moral of the story is don't sell yourself short," Cho said. "Aim high."

The paper, "Attaining Satisfaction," has been published online in the Journal of Consumer Research. It will appear in the December issue of the journal.

The paper aimed to answer whether lowering expectations helps manage happiness. The question was answered through two experiments.

In the first one, 134 participants were asked to set a target rate of return that they would be satisfied with and asked to pick from a percentage range of 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 or 20. Low goal setters were defined as those who set the rate at 14 percent of lower. High goal setters were those who set the rate at greater than 14 percent.

Participants were then asked to allocate their $5,400 budget by picking three of 20 fictitious stocks presented to them.

After a 10-minute filler task, participants received the return of their stock portfolio, handwritten by the experimenter so it matched their goal. Participants were led to believe their stock allocation had been entered into a database to get actual returns.

The experimenters then concocted three feedback scenarios.

In the first one, only the stock performance information was provided. This is called the "default" condition of interest. In the second one, the participants were first told the typical return of stocks was 6 percent to 20 percent and then told how their stocks performed. In the last scenario, participants were first reminded what their goal was and then told how their stocks performed. Participants were then asked to rate their satisfaction on 9-point scales.

Of interest is whether all participants, who achieve their goals, are similarly happy. Existing research would predict that those who achieve their goals should be satisfied. Results suggested otherwise.

In the first "default" scenario, high goal setters average satisfaction was 7.85 while low goal setters were at 6.53.

In the third scenario, where the range of possible outcomes was reiterated, a similarly large gap occurred between high-goal setters (8.57) and low goal setters (6.98).

In the second scenario, where participants were reminded of their goal, the gap in happiness level between the two groups disappeared, with high goal setters at 7.72 and low goal setters at 7.46.

This suggested that when people set goals, they don't necessarily recall this goal to evaluate their performance, but recruit a higher comparison point to do so. This upward comparison process likely negatively impacts their satisfaction with the performance of their portfolio.

A second experiment involving puzzles found similar results.

The paper is one of several about happiness and goals written or planned to be written by Cho, whose research focuses on consumer motivation and satisfaction.

A paper she co-authored in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research looked at consumer decisions when confronted with similar products with different features in a controlled experimental setting. She and her colleagues demonstrated consumers who experience heightened conflict due to their shifting motivational state are more likely to be swayed by irrelevant information which often leads to suboptimal choices.

Future papers will look at the reasons people lower their goals and sequential goal setting, in other words if you reach your first goal how does it impact setting a second goal.

Sean Nealon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucr.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>