The Dynamic Impact of Variety among Means on Motivation
Consumers often have a variety of products that they may use to help them pursue their goals. These products constitute a set of means toward consumers’ goal attainment. This article investigates (1) how the amount of variety (high vs. low) among a set of means affects motivation to pursue the associated goal and (2) how this relationship changes over the course of goal pursuit as progress is made toward goal attainment. Five studies demonstrate that when progress toward goal attainment is low, having more variety within a set of means to goal attainment increases motivation to pursue the goal. However, when progress toward goal attainment is high, having less variety within a set of means to goal attainment increases motivation to pursue the goal. These findings suggest perceived variety among means is an important determinant of motivation in goal pursuit.
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