The Sprinter Effect: When Extremely Motivated Consumers Fail to Overcome Depletion

59 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2008

See all articles by Yael Steinhart

Yael Steinhart

Independent

Danit Ein-Gar

Tel-Aviv University, Coller School of Management

Date Written: November 3, 2008

Abstract

The current research examines the non-trivial destructive effect of consumers' motivation on performance. By conceptualizing resource-depletion as a continuous state, a low point of severe depletion from which recovery is less likely to occur is identified. We propose that extreme levels of motivation yield poor performance under depleted states, as a result of reaching the low depletion point of no recovery. We term this process which leads to the drop in performance as the "sprinter effect". Studies 1 and 2, show the effect on brand name recognition and product pricing in lab settings. Study 3 replicates the sprinter effect in a grocery store with actual shoppers and Study 4 demonstrates how to debias the effect.

Keywords: Self-regulation, Resource depletion, involvment, self-control, sprinter effect

Suggested Citation

Steinhart, Yael and Ein-Gar, Danit, The Sprinter Effect: When Extremely Motivated Consumers Fail to Overcome Depletion (November 3, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1294369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1294369

Yael Steinhart

Independent ( email )

Danit Ein-Gar (Contact Author)

Tel-Aviv University, Coller School of Management ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

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