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The desire to win: The effects of competitive arousal on motivation and behavior

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  • Malhotra, Deepak
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    Abstract

    The paper theoretically elaborates and empirically investigates the "competitive arousal" model of decision making, which argues that elements of the strategic environment (e.g., head-to-head rivalry and time pressure) can fuel competitive motivations and behavior. Study 1 measures real-time motivations of online auction bidders and finds that the "desire to win" (even when winning is costly and will provide no strategic upside) is heightened when rivalry and time pressure coincide. Study 2 is a field experiment which alters the text of email alerts sent to bidders who have been outbid; the text makes competitive (vs. non-competitive) motivations salient. Making the desire to win salient triggers additional bidding, but only when rivalry and time pressure coincide. Study 3, a laboratory study, demonstrates that the desire to win mediates the effect of rivalry and time pressure on over-bidding.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 139-146

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:111:y:2010:i:2:p:139-146

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Competitive arousal Desire to win Competitive motivation Rivalry Time pressure Escalation Auction Bidding Competition Winning Relative payoffs Conflict Negotiation Dispute;

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    Cited by:
    1. Matthew W. McCarter & Abel M. Winn, 2013. "When the Economics of a Decision Matters More than the Psychology of the Decision: Understanding the Economic Significance of Auction Fever," Working Papers 13-19, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    2. Nichols, Bridget Satinover, 2012. "The development, validation, and implications of a measure of consumer competitive arousal (CCAr)," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 192-205.

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