Low-Balling on Goals to Regulate Future Affect: a Functional Strategy?

Cecile K. Cho, Columbia University, USA
Gita V. Johar, Columbia University, USA
This paper questions the lay theory that future affect can be managed by lowering one’s expected performance standard. This strategy can work only if performance is compared to the initially set standard. We argue that performance potential is instead spontaneously evoked at the time of performance feedback and used as the benchmark instead of one’s initial goals. Even when goals are met, this comparison results in lower levels of satisfaction and greater disappointment when goals are set low (vs. high). Such negative impact of “low-balling” on goals persists even when performance outcome is held constant and counterfactual thoughts are prevented.
[ to cite ]:
Cecile K. Cho and Gita V. Johar (2008) ,"Low-Balling on Goals to Regulate Future Affect: a Functional Strategy?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 89-92.