"When people believe they have autonomously chosen to pursue a goal themselves, they feel the goal is increasingly valuable as they put in more effort, because they experience their own effort as signaling how much they care about it," write authors Ying Zhang (University of Texas at Austin), Jing Xu, Zixi Jiang (both Peking University), and Szu-chi Huang (University of Texas at Austin).
It seems that when people believe a goal they are pursuing is imposed on them, they experience their efforts as a loss of autonomy. In other words, they value the goal less as they put in more effort.
The authors tested participants in four experiments. In the first study, they found that participants who made a free choice on the topic of an essay increased their efforts as they moved further into the task, whereas people who were assigned topics withdrew their efforts as they advanced in the task.
Next, the authors organized campaigns for two environmental issues, forest conservation and saving energy. They allowed half the participants to choose the campaign they would like to support, but randomly assigned a campaign to the remaining people. They then varied the amount of effort participants needed to provide to support their campaigns. People who were given a choice of which campaign to support reported that they cared more about the issue after putting in more effort. The people who were assigned a cause cared less about the issue after investing more effort.
"Our findings have important implications for understanding consumer behaviors," the authors write. "For example if a person chooses to stay in a certain hotel, he or she is likely to experience the choice as reflecting how much he or she likes this place, which should in turn increase the likelihood that this person will stay in the same hotel again."
Finally, the authors suggest that marketers can capitalize on consumer desire for autonomous choice. They suggest that someone might switch brand loyalty if confronted with the statement: "Your parents thought that would be a good car for you…do you?"
Ying Zhang, Jing Xu, Zixi Jiang, and Szu-chi Huang. "Been There, Done That: The Impact of Effort Investment on Goal Value and Consumer Motivation." Journal of Consumer Research: June 2011 (published online October 15, 2010). Further information: http://ejcr.org
Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.04.2017 | Materials Sciences