The Psychological Consequences of Pursuing an Action as an End Versus a Means

The Psychological Consequences of Pursuing an Action as an End Versus a Means

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My dissertation investigates how different frames of activities bring about distinct psychological consequences. The first chapter investigates the consequence of the choice process for mental resources and the desire to obtain the selected products. I draw a distinction between instrumental choice, which serves preexisting consumption goals, and experiential choice, which serves as its own end. In four studies, I find that instrumental choice undermines mental resources and experiential choice increases these resources. As a result, although experiential choice is made with no consumption goal in mind, compared with instrumental choice, it can increase the desire to obtain the selected products. I demonstrate these effects in choice among a variety of consumer products (e.g., vacation packages, novels, and flower bouquets). The second chapter explores the effect of adding goals to an activity on its experience and pursuit. I argue that before engaging in an activity, adding goals to an activity renders this activity more valuable, and therefore increases the motivation to initiate the activity. On the contrary, once engaged in the activity, adding goals to an activity renders the experience more effortful, and thus decreases the motivation to pursue the same activity. Four studies demonstrate these effects in goaloriented activities including exercise at the gym, origami, flossing, and yoga.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 84 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 168g
  • Charleston SC, United States
  • English
  • 1244052485
  • 9781244052482