Where Does Value Come From

E. Tory Higgins, Columbia University
Recognizing that value involves experiencing pleasure or pain is critical to understanding the psychology of value. But hedonic experience is not enough. I propose that it is also necessary to recognize that strength of engagement can contribute to experienced value through its contribution to the experience of motivational force--an experience of the intensity of the force of attraction to or repulsion from the value target. The subjective pleasure/pain properties of a value target influence strength of engagement, but there are factors separate from the hedonic properties of the value target that also influence engagement strength and thus contribute to the experience of attraction or repulsion. These additional sources of engagement strength include using the right or proper means of goal pursuit and regulatory fit between the orientation and manner of goal pursuit. Implications of the contribution of engagement strength to value are discussed for judgment and decision making.
[ to cite ]:
E. Tory Higgins (2008) ,"Where Does Value Come From", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 229-232.