So Near and Yet So Far: the Mental Representation of Goal Progress

Szu-chi Huang, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Ying Zhang, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Susan Broniarczyk, University of Texas at Austin, USA
We propose that the mental representation of progress level serves as a self-regulatory mechanism to ensure goal attainment. When individuals just start the pursuit, they exaggerate their progress level to signal higher goal attainability and elicit greater effort. In contrast, when people are approaching the end point, they downplay their progress to create greater perceived discrepancy, and thus elicit greater effort.
[ to cite ]:
Szu-chi Huang, Ying Zhang, and Susan Broniarczyk (2011) ,"So Near and Yet So Far: the Mental Representation of Goal Progress", 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: 155-156.