The Journey to Goal Attainment: When Process Focus Is Engaging

Michal Herzenstein, University of Delaware, USA
Aparna Labroo, University of Chicago, USA
Prior research finds mixed evidence regarding the effects of process and outcome simulations on effort and choice. We suggest that the extent to which one considers the outcome to be relevant and instrumental to goal attainment explains these differences. Specifically, in goal pursuit, when a product is perceived as instrumental to the goal, then process simulation will increase its appeal, because it maps the path to goal attainment (i.e., the necessary steps required in using the product to achieve the accessible goal.) However, when the product is irrelevant to one’s goal then outcome simulation will increase its appeal because it highlights the product’s benefits rather than usage.
[ to cite ]:
Michal Herzenstein and Aparna Labroo (2010) ,"The Journey to Goal Attainment: When Process Focus Is Engaging", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 57-59 .