"The easier a goal is to see, the closer it seems," said Rajesh Bagchi, assistant professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.
Amar Cheema, associate professor of marketing with the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, and Bagchi studied the effect of goal visualization in abstract contexts and report that making goal attainment visual provides motivation for reaching abstract goals just as with physical destinations. The research appears in the March issue of the Journal of Marketing.
Being marketing professors, they suggest a scenario where salespeople are offered a trip to Hawaii if they achieve sales 20 percent above the annual target. If progress is reported visually by showing a bar filling, the sales staff will be more energized than if progress is reported numerically, as dollars or percent of sales.
"The same thing happens if you are saving for a vacation with a definite goal and you see an image of a piggy bank filling up, instead of the dollar total only," said Bagchi.
Cheema suggests that even drawing a graph representing your savings will provide motivation.
Cheema and Bagchi tested visualization with experiments requiring physical effort and experiments involving customers waiting for service and sales people completing deals.
"As individuals approached the goal, effort declined more steeply for participants who had the stopwatch image. While fatigue led to a decline in the force exerted over time, the decline was less steep for the people who could easily visualize the goal relative to those who could not," said Bagchi.
"Progress is important," said Cheema." When what is left to be filled in the bar is smaller than what has been filled, that is when the motivation happens."
The marketing experiments included the all-to-realistic likelihood of waiting for software support via a live chat with a technician. "Among participants near the goal, those in the easy-to-visualize condition (a filling bar vs. a countdown) are more likely to persist than those in the hard-to-visualize condition," said Bagchi. "More significantly, participants who are near the goal reported greater progress."
"This research provides one way to provide information about wait time that can reduce tension," said Bagchi.
In the final study, salespeople were told to finish selling to 20 clients as soon as possible. A second part of this study looked at the effect of setting subgoals. "Unpacking a goal into subgoals can make the tasks more manageable and may increase effort and performance," said Cheema. "On the other hand, subgoals may also shift motivational focus away from the main goal. We found this to be the case when distance to the goal is well-known and information is certain, such as in selling quickly to 20 clients."
The sales experiment once again demonstrated the motivational effect of goal visualization and proximity, where participants had a financial incentive to perform well, and demonstrated that a well-visualized abstract goal, such as making a sale, elicits commitment as if it were a physical goal.
"Our research results suggest that we process visual representations in a manner similar to distance, influencing perceptions of proximity and effort as we pursue everyday tasks or make decisions about investing time and effort for a particular outcome," said Bagchi.
sookhan ho | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences