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

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  • Malhotra, Deepak

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Malhotra, Deepak, 2010. "The desire to win: The effects of competitive arousal on motivation and behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 139-146, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:111:y:2010:i:2:p:139-146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jouret:v:91:y:2015:i:3:p:468-485 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jobhdp:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:125-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:crpeac:v:27:y:2015:i:c:p:177-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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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