Recurring Goals: The Effect of Divisibility and Goal Attainment on Self-Efficacy and Effort
45 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2007
Date Written: June 2007
People often take on tasks again and again that lead to identical outcomesâ"what we refer to as recurring goals (e.g., getting up in time to catch the early train and arrive at work on time). This research documents how effort increases in response to goal attainment in a recurring goal framework. Most loyalty programs are structured as a series of recurring goals (awards). The effectiveness of a loyalty program depends directly on the number of rewards offered and the amount of an alternative currency required to redeem each reward, what we have labeled a program's divisibility. We show how goal attainment and thus the effort exerted toward future rewards depends on a program's divisibility. Our results suggest the observed increase in effort occurs due to an increase in self-efficacy, or the impact that success has on perceptions of one's particular aptitude at completing an endeavor.
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