How Does Motivation Affect Evaluations?

Xianchi Dai, University of Chicago, USA
Christopher Hsee, University of Chicago, USA
Compared with satiated people, will hungry people perceive a given biscuit bigger or smaller? Questions such as this are about motivated perception and have intrigued psychologists since the classic study of Bruner and Goodman (1947). We propose a two-process model to address these questions. According to our model, motivation leads to two opposite effects. One is wishful thinking, in which people’s evaluation is assimilated toward their motivated expectation. The other is a contrast effect, in which people use their motivated expectation as a reference point to evaluate reality. We further propose that ownership status determines the relative weight of the two processes. We tested our model in three studies about volume, size, and product quality judgments.
[ to cite ]:
Xianchi Dai and Christopher Hsee (2010) ,"How Does Motivation Affect Evaluations?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 215-218 .