Getting Begets Wanting: a New Theory About Long-Term Changes in Strength of Motivation

Kathleen Vohs, University of Minnesota
Andrew Kaikati, University of Minnesota
Prior theories of motivation, based on the satiation cycle, propose that satisfaction reduces subsequent motivational drive. A new theory proposes that this occurs only in the short-run, and that motivation conforms to a “getting begets wanting” pattern in the long-run. In three studies, we demonstrate that “getting” (that is, engaging in a motivational endeavor) strengthens later motivation in that domain. We tested this theory in the contexts of crossword puzzles, handheld video games, napping, and news-related behaviors, and found that engaging in an activity increased motivation to engage in it subsequently.
[ to cite ]:
Kathleen Vohs and Andrew Kaikati (2008) ,"Getting Begets Wanting: a New Theory About Long-Term Changes in Strength of Motivation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 913-913.