When Thinking Beats Doing: The Role of Optimistic Expectations in Goal-Based Choice
We propose that, in the pursuit of ongoing goals, optimistic expectations of future goal pursuit have greater impact on immediate actions than do less optimistic considerations, such as retrospections on past goal pursuit or less optimistic expectations. Further, we propose that the direction of the impact is determined by the framing of goal pursuit: it motivates goal-congruent actions when goal pursuit is framed as commitment to the goal but motivates goal-incongruent actions when the pursuit is framed as progress toward the goal. Four studies provided consistent support for the proposed hypothesis. (c) 2007 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..