Been There, Done That: The Impact of Effort Investment on Goal Value and Consumer Motivation

Been There, Done That: The Impact of Effort Investment on Goal Value and Consumer Motivation

By
Ying Zhang, Jing Xu, Zixi Jiang, Szu-chi Huang
Journal of Consumer Research.
2011, Vol. 38, Issue 1, Pages 78-93

In the present article, we propose that consumers’ initial effort investment in pursuing a goal may increase or decrease the value of the goal and the consumer’s subsequent motivation, depending on whether the pursuit of the goal is perceived to be one’s autonomous choice. When consumers perceive that the goal they pursue is adopted through an autonomous choice, the initial effort investment is experienced as reflecting the value of the goal; therefore, greater effort should increase the value of the goal as well as consumers’ subsequent motivation. Conversely, if consumers perceive that the goal has been imposed on them, they experience psychological reactance that is proportional to the amount of effort that they expend in pursuing the goal; thus, they devalue the goal as they invest more effort in its pursuit and show lower subsequent motivation.