The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort

Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 32, March 2006

9 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2007  

Joseph Nunes

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Xavier Dreze

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Abstract

This research documents a phenomenon we call the endowed progress effect, whereby people provided with artificial advancement toward a goal exhibit greater persistence toward reaching the goal. By converting a task requiring eight steps into a task requiring 10 steps but with two steps already complete, the task is reframed as one that has been undertaken and incomplete rather than not yet begun. This increases the likelihood of task completion and decreases completion time. The effect appears to depend on perceptions of task completion rather than a desire to avoid wasting the endowed progress. Moderators include the reason, if any, offered for the endowment and the currency in which progress is recorded.

Keywords: progress effect, artificial advancement

Suggested Citation

Nunes, Joseph and Dreze, Xavier, The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 32, March 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=991962

Joseph Nunes (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Xavier Dreze

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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