The Ironic Effect of Efficacy on Consumer Consumption

Rajesh Bagchi , Virginia Tech, USA
Amar Cheema, Washington University / University of Virginia, USA
Prior research suggests that increasing perceptions of efficacy (defined as effectiveness or productiveness) enhances individuals’ motivation to pursue goals. We identify an important moderator of the influence of efficacy on consumer consumption. We demonstrate that efficacy increases motivation to pursue goals when individuals focus on engaging in goal-consistent consumption alternatives (e.g., in a weight-loss context, exercising to lose weight), but reduces motivation when individuals focus on avoiding goal-inconsistent consumption alternatives (e.g., avoiding rich foods). This ironic effect of efficacy is consistent with prior demonstrations of balancing versus highlighting of goals, and also with the ironic effects of remedial products.
[ to cite ]:
Rajesh Bagchi and Amar Cheema (2010) ,"The Ironic Effect of Efficacy on Consumer Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 49-52 .