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Goals as Excuses or Guides: The Liberating Effect of Perceived Goal Progress on Choice

Ayelet Fishbach and Ravi Dhar

Journal of Consumer Research, 2005, vol. 32, issue 3, 370-377

Abstract: Consumer choices are often driven by multiple goals (e.g., career and family), each of which if viewed in isolation may appear to suggest conflicting choices. This article examines the effect of initial goal pursuit on consumers' interest in pursuing unrelated or even conflicting goals. Four studies were conducted to test whether perceived goal progress hinders the pursuit of the focal goal. These studies demonstrate that in the course of self-regulation progress along one goal liberates people to pursue inconsistent goals. Furthermore, merely planning to make goal progress in the future may facilitate incongruent choice of immediate action. (c) 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

Date: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:32:y:2005:i:3:p:370-377