What Drives Customer Inspiration? A Goal-Systemic Perspective
37 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 18, 2019
While inspiration plays an essential role in marketing practice and everyday consumer language, practitioners often seem to lack a clear understanding of the drivers of inspiration. Scientifically, inspiration challenges traditional categorizations as it combines cognitive and motivational aspects of human behavior. By integrating inspiration with goal systems theory, this paper proposes a framework for the psychological processes which drive customer inspiration. Across three experimental studies in the context of physical exercising, we test the ability of this goal-systemic perspective to predict effects on inspiration. Study 1 reveals that inspiration can result both from the addition of new means as well as new goals and depends on participants’ pre-existing goal-systems. Study 2 replicates these findings and shows that the effects on inspiration are largely mediated by the strength of new goal-means associations. Finally, study 3 explores the effect of participants’ mindsets on inspiration through new goals and means. In conclusion, these results provide evidence that the effects of realizing new goals and new means on inspiration depend on pre-existing goal systems and mindsets in a way that is consistent with goal systems theory. Therefore, goal systems theory can provide a useful framework for the analysis of inspiration in consumer research.
Keywords: Goal systems theory; Inspiration; Health; Fitness
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