Dynamics of Self-Regulation: How (Un)Accomplished Goal Actions Affect Motivation

Minjung Koo, University of Chicago
Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago
Four studies show that in striving toward goals with a specific end-state, the focus on accomplished actions (to-date) increases goal adherence by signaling greater commitment. It increases motivation to study for a relatively unimportant exam, consume luxuries, fulfill a desire, and make first-time contributions to a charity. In contrast, the focus on unaccomplished actions (to-go) increases goal adherence by signaling lack of progress toward already committed goals. It increases motivation to study for an important exam, consume necessities, fulfill a need, and make repeated contributions to a charity.
[ to cite ]:
Minjung Koo and Ayelet Fishbach (2008) ,"Dynamics of Self-Regulation: How (Un)Accomplished Goal Actions Affect Motivation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 93-96.