Hoped-For Selves and Feared Selves: How Positive and Negative Reference Values in Self-Regulation Moderate Consumer Goal-Directed Efforts

We investigate how the type of goal-directed behaviour engaged in by consumers (moving towards a hoped-for future self, or moving away from a feared future self) moderates consumer motivation. We explore the purposive behaviour of women in relation to dealing with visible signs of skin aging as our research context. An experiment conducted with 203 women ranging in age from 27 to 65 reveals that positive and negative reference values in self-regulation moderate how perceived progress and proximity to goals shape future goal-directed efforts to deal with skin aging. When aiming to achieve a hoped-for self, successful progress maintains motivation more than failure. Yet when aiming to avoid a feared self, failure maintains motivation more than success. Further, slower than expected progress away from a feared self motivates consumers more when one is close to the undesired end state than one is distant. We identify the underlying processes accounting for these asymmetric effects.


Rana Sobh and Brett Martin (2007) ,"Hoped-For Selves and Feared Selves: How Positive and Negative Reference Values in Self-Regulation Moderate Consumer Goal-Directed Efforts", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 350-352.


Rana Sobh, Department of Marketing, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Brett Martin, School of Management, University of Bath, UK


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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