Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1732748
 
 

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The Effect of Goal Visualization on Goal Pursuit: Implications for Individuals and Managers


Amar Cheema


University of Virginia (UVA), McIntire School of Commerce

Rajesh Bagchi


Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech

August 2, 2010

Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
This research demonstrates that as individuals approach a goal, external representations which increase the ease of visualizing this goal enhance goal pursuit. Specifically, easy-to-visualize goals are judged to be closer than harder-to-visualize goals and consequently increase effort and commitment. Ease of visualization affects performance in 1500m Olympic and Sectional swimming competitions and the physical effort exerted in the lab. Visualization also affects commitment towards savings, willingness to wait for service, and performance in a simulated sales task. Importantly, the beneficial effects of visualization exist only when individuals are close to the goal. Furthermore, the effect of visualization is attenuated when the goal is split into subgoals. Managers can use these results to enhance consumer goal pursuit (for instance, for consumers who are trying to lose weight), influence consumer satisfaction in online service encounters (such as when consumers are waiting to be helped), and to motivate employees to improve performance. In these varied contexts, visual representations of goal progress (such as progress bars) are likely to enhance motivation as individuals approach their goal.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: goal, motivation, visualization, goal-gradient, progress

JEL Classification: C91, C93, D81, M12, M31

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Date posted: January 1, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Cheema, Amar and Bagchi, Rajesh, The Effect of Goal Visualization on Goal Pursuit: Implications for Individuals and Managers (August 2, 2010). Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1732748

Contact Information

Amar Cheema (Contact Author)
University of Virginia (UVA), McIntire School of Commerce ( email )
P.O. Box 400173
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173
United States
434-924-3034 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.amarcheema.com
Rajesh Bagchi
Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech ( email )
1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States
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