The Dilution Model: How Additional Goals Undermine the Perceived Effectiveness of a Common Means

Ying Zhang, University of Chicago
Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago
Arie W. Kruglanski, University of Maryland
Four experiments tested for a dilution model of goal pursuit. We propose that an increase in the number of goals a single means can satisfy weakens the associative strength between that means and each individual goal and thus lowers the perceived effectiveness of means for the attainment of each goal. Accordingly, our studies illustrated this dilution effect and found that the degree of reduction in means instrumentality depends on the perceived distinctiveness between the goals. Furthermore, means that are connected with multiple goals are less preferred when a single goal needs to be fulfilled because of the dilution effect.
[ to cite ]:
Ying Zhang, Ayelet Fishbach, and Arie W. Kruglanski (2007) ,"The Dilution Model: How Additional Goals Undermine the Perceived Effectiveness of a Common Means", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 569-570.