The Influence of Goal Publicity on Goal-Consistent Behaviors

Yuchen Hung, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Xiuping Li, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Catherine Yeung, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Past research has shown publicizing one’s goal commitment motivates people for goal achievement. However, in this study, we demonstrated that publicizing a goal decreased goal-consistent behaviors. In two experiments, we established that the adverse effect of goal publicity and circumscribed the circumstances goal publicity backfired. Specifically, goal publicity decreased goal-consistent behaviors when goals were associated with symbolic values. In experiment 1, we showed that the students who publicized their academic goals spent less time on studying. This happened when students considered how achieving academic success symbolized who they were (e.g., an intelligent person), but no difference in studying time was apparent when they considered the utilitarian benefits of academic success (e.g., good marks). In experiment 2, we replicated the result with environmentally friendly goal. People, considering the symbolic value of being environmental, paid less attention to environmental information after they publicized the goal.
[ to cite ]:
Yuchen Hung, Xiuping Li, and Catherine Yeung (2011) ,"The Influence of Goal Publicity on Goal-Consistent Behaviors", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 786-787.