Stuck in the Middle: the Psychophysics of Goal Pursuit

Andrea Bonezzi, Northwestern University, USA
C. Miguel Brendl, Northwestern University, USA
Matteo De Angelis , Luiss University, Italy
The classic goal-gradient hypothesis posits that motivation increases monotonically with proximity to a goal. However, we show that motivation is higher when either far or close to a goal, and decreases halfway to a goal. The psychophysics of goal pursuit accounts for this tendency to get “stuck in the middle.”
[ to cite ]:
Andrea Bonezzi, C. Miguel Brendl, and Matteo De Angelis (2011) ,"Stuck in the Middle: the Psychophysics of Goal Pursuit", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38, eds. Darren W. Dahl, Gita V. Johar, and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.