Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Understanding consumer behavior: Make them think it was their idea or decision?

16.11.2010
Consumers value goals they've chosen on their own more than those that are imposed on them, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"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!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>