From Difficulty to Possibility: Interpretation of Experienced Difficulty, Motivation and Behavior

People sometimes dig in and other times disengage after experiencing difficulty. Applying identity-based motivation theory, we find that experiencing difficulty as implying impossible stops engagement, while experiencing difficulty as implying importance revs up engagement. Results show that interpreting difficulty as importance represents an alternative strategy to goal achievement.


Daphna Oyserman, Sheida Novin, George C. Smith, Kristen Elmore, Cecile Nurra, Oliver Fisher, and Neil Lewis (2015) ,"From Difficulty to Possibility: Interpretation of Experienced Difficulty, Motivation and Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 43, eds. Kristin Diehl , Carolyn Yoon, and , Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 191-196.


Daphna Oyserman, University of Southern California, USA
Sheida Novin, University of Michigan, USA and Utrecht University, the Netherlands
George C. Smith, University of Michigan, USA
Kristen Elmore, University of Michigan, USA
Cecile Nurra, University of Grenoble Alpes, France
Oliver Fisher, University of Southern California
Neil Lewis, University of Michigan


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 43 | 2015

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