Economics at your fingertips  

The Effect of Categorization on Goal Progress Perceptions and Motivation

Marissa A Sharif and Kaitlin Woolley

Journal of Consumer Research, 2020, vol. 47, issue 4, 608-630

Abstract: Consumers monitor their goal progress to know how much effort they need to invest to achieve their goals. However, the factors influencing consumers’ goal progress monitoring are largely unexamined. Seven studies (N = 8,409) identified categorization as a novel factor that influences goal progress perceptions, with consequences for motivation. When pursuing a goal, categorization cues lead consumers to perceive that their goal-relevant actions are in separate categories; as a result, consumers anchor their estimates of goal progress on the proportion of categories completed and are less affected by the absolute amount of progress made than when categorization cues are not present. As a result, depending on the proportion of categories completed, categorization can lead consumers to infer greater progress when they are actually farther from their goal, and to infer less progress when they are closer to their goal. We demonstrate consequences of this effect for consumers’ motivation and goal attainment in incentive compatible contexts.

Keywords: goal progress; motivation; categorization; persistence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Journal of Consumer Research from Oxford University Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().

Page updated 2021-08-20
Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:47:y:2020:i:4:p:608-630.