|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4996||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7670 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Consumer Psychology, Volume 21, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 414–423
This article explores the course of motivation in pursuing various goals. We distinguish between two dimensions of motivation: the motivation to attain a focal goal (outcome-focused dimension) and the motivation to “do things right” in the process of reaching that goal (means-focused dimension). We identify the conditions under which the motivation to reach a focal goal increases versus decreases over the course of goal pursuit. We then propose that the motivation to “do things right” follows a u-shaped pattern, such that it is higher at the beginning and end of goal pursuit than in the middle.
The notion that motivation to reach a goal's end state (outcome-focused motivation) increases as distance to the goal decreases is rooted in the origins of psychological research. Researchers refer to this phenomenon as “the goal-gradient hypothesis” or “goal looms larger effect” and find that people (and other animals) exert more effort and persistence as they get closer to a goal's end state (Brown, 1948, Förster et al., 1998, Heath et al., 1999, Hull, 1932, Kivetz et al., 2006 and Nunes and Dreze, 2006). In one of the original tests of this hypothesis, rats in a straight alley progressively increased their running speed as they proceeded from the beginning of the alley toward the food at the end of the alley (Hull, 1934). More recently, Kivetz et al. (2006) demonstrated goal-gradient effects for a variety of human behaviors. They found, for example, that participants who rated songs online to obtain reward certificates increased their efforts as they approached the reward goal. Specifically, as they got closer to receiving the reward, participants increased the frequency of their visits to the rating site, rated more songs per visit, and were less likely to abandon uncompleted rating efforts. These lines of research on the goal-gradient (or goal-looms-larger) effect typically conceive of the construct of motivation in terms of physical and mental effort and measure it by the speed, strength, and perseverance with which people perform actions. Thus Hull (1934) measured how much faster rats ran when they got closer to the food at the end of an alley. Kivetz et al. (2006) measured how much consumers in a frequent-buyer program accelerated their rate of purchases as they progressed toward earning a reward (i.e., decreasing their inter-purchase interval), and how much participants increased their persistence at song-rating tasks. Heath et al. (1999) also used persistence as a measure of motivation. In their study, participants expected an actor with a goal of doing 30 sits-up to persist more (e.g., by doing 5 more sit-ups) when he was closer to (vs. farther from) his goal. Researchers consider the pulling force of a goal's end state to be one of the basic characteristics of goal-driven processes. Thus Förster et al. (2005) found that active goals enhance the accessibility of goal-related constructs, and that such accessibility persists until goal fulfillment, at which point it is reduced or inhibited. Once the goal is attained, motivation drops below baseline. In one study, participants searched through several sequential blocks of pictures with the goal of finding a picture of glasses followed by a picture of scissors. Lexical decision tasks participants performed after each block of pictures indicated that the accessibility of goal-related words (i.e., words related to “glasses”) was greater prior to finding the target pictures and lower after finding them. We identify several explanations for the pattern of increasing motivation as the distance to the goal decreases. First, early work on Gestalt psychology suggests that the desire for closure might underlie this effect. Specifically, according to the Zeigarnik effect, people are highly motivated to finish what they start. Such motivation accounts for their better recall of uncompleted tasks compared to completed ones. For example, in Zeigarnik's (1927) original study, participants performed 20 short tasks, half of which they did not get a chance to complete because the experimenter purposefully interrupted them. At the end of the study, when asked to recall as many of the tasks as possible, participants recalled more uncompleted than completed tasks. Zeigarnik attributed this superior recall of uncompleted activities to the goal-focused notion of “closure” or the need to finish what one starts. In this conceptualization, an incomplete task corresponds to an unfulfilled goal and leads to a lack of closure. This lack of closure, in turn, produces cognitive activity and memory traces related to the goal, resulting in better recall of the uncompleted tasks. By contrast, a finished task corresponds to a completed goal, which provides closure and switches off any goal-related cognitive effort. Another account for the increase in motivation as the goal's end state nears refers to the perceived contribution of each successive goal-related action to the completion of the goal. Indeed, the marginal impact of a single successful step (progress) toward goal achievement appears to increase over the course of goal pursuit. In turn, this greater perceived impact of each new progress increases the motivation to make more progress toward the focal goal (Higgins and Brendl, 1995 and Koo and Fishbach, 2010). Specifically, if the completion of a goal requires a given number of identical steps, each new step would reduce a larger proportion of the remaining distance to the goal and therefore would appear more impactful. To illustrate, consider the goal to proofread a 10-page document. Proofreading the first page would reduce the distance to the goal by 10% (1 out of 10 remaining pages), proofreading the seventh page would reduce that distance by 25% (1 of 4 remaining pages), and completing the last page would reduce goal distance by 100% (1 out of 1 remaining pages). Hence, psychologically, the marginal value of each new action towards goal completion increases over the course of goal pursuit, leading to an increase in motivation as the remaining distance to the goal decreases. A third account of why motivation increases with proximity to a goal's end state conceives of the end state as a “reference point” and assumes that the value of each action depends on its distance from this reference point (Heath, Larrick, & Wu, 1999). According to prospect theory, the value of outcomes follows an S-shaped function (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). Therefore, outcomes of goal pursuit that fall short of the goal (i.e., losses) have a greater marginal impact when they are closer to the goal's end state (i.e. reference point)—at points where the loss function is steep—than when they are distant from the end state. This diminishing sensitivity principle suggests falling short of a goal when one is close to (vs. far from) the end state would be more painful (i.e., perceived as a greater loss). For example, failing to proofread a 100-page manuscript within a given deadline should feel worse when one was on the 90th versus 40th page. To avoid the negative emotional impact of failing to reach a proximal goal, people should be willing to exert more effort as they approach the end state than when they are further away from the goal.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this article, we explored some possible courses of motivation during goal pursuit. We distinguished between two dimensions of motivations. First, we examined the outcome-focused motivation to reach a goal's outcomes, and reviewed findings suggesting that this dimension of motivation can fluctuate based on several factors. Next, we reviewed work on the means-focused motivation to use proper means in the process of pursuing a goal, which shows this dimension of motivation follows a u-shaped pattern. In our review, we addressed findings from consumer research and social psychology, which have important implications for understanding and modifying consumers' behaviors in the pursuit of their various consumption goals. Motivation to pursue these consumption goals should fluctuate based on the factors discussed in this review. Findings on the outcome-based dimension of motivation would predict, for example, that toward the end of a charity fundraising goal, consumers would be more likely to increase their monetary contributions (i.e., goal-gradient effect). However, after spending some time properly sorting and recycling their garbage, consumers inferring progress on environmental goals might be more likely to toss an empty Coke can in the regular trash bin (i.e., dynamics of self-regulation, licensing effect). Similarly, findings on the means-focused dimension of motivation also lead to several predictions in the pursuit of consumption goals. Indeed, we would expect consumers to succumb more easily to the temptation to relax their standards, for example, act less ethically or apply themselves less, in the middle of their many consumption goals (i.e., frequent-buyer program, shopping, providing feedback, etc.). For instance, while shopping, consumers might slack in the middle by spending less time considering various options and might be more likely to use mental or physical shortcuts such as selecting default or easily accessible options. This last prediction suggests that grocery store layouts in which unhealthy items such as chips, soda and candies are in the center aisles might unwittingly lead to less thoughtful selections of such items, hence possibly, more unhealthy choices. Furthermore, since beginning and end (vs. middle) positions are often arbitrarily determined—especially in consumption contexts—reducing the length of the middle by dividing long goal pursuits into sub-goals requiring shorter sequences of actions should increase the likelihood that consumers will adhere to their standards. For example, a frequent-buyer programs that requires only four purchases to get a reward should discourage misuse to a greater extent than one requiring eight purchases, since the former has fewer points in which consumers would experience being in the middle of goal pursuit. These examples are only a few of some of the predictions that emerge from the present analysis. Our goal in this analysis is to provide an overall framework of the course of motivation, which will foster the generation and investigation of new hypotheses in future research.