Choice As an End Versus a Means

Jinhee Choi, University of Chicago, USA
Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago, USA
We propose that same choice activity is experienced differently depending on how the choice is framed. We draw a distinction between instrumental choices, which are construed as means to serve consumption goals, and experiential choices, which are construed as their own end. We show that instrumental choices undermine psychological resource whereas experiential choices replenish this resource. As a result, although experiential choices are made with no consumption goal in mind, they increase consumption beyond instrumental choices. Four studies find support to these predictions in choice of food items, vacation packages, fiction books, and flower bouquets.
[ to cite ]:
Jinhee Choi and Ayelet Fishbach (2009) ,"Choice As an End Versus a Means", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 172-176.