Advertisement

Marketing Letters

, 19:229 | Cite as

Reinforcement versus balance response in sequential choice

  • Joel Huber
  • Kelly Goldsmith
  • Cassie Mogilner
Article

Abstract

Psychologists often explore the impact of one act on a subsequent related act. With an eye to the marketing literature, this paper explores two properties of sequential choices that involve the resolution of competing goals. Reinforcement occurs when the goals driving the first choice are made stronger by that choice and result in a congruent subsequent choice. Balance occurs when the first choice satisfies or extinguishes the goals that led to the original decision, producing an incongruent subsequent choice. This review examines a number of psychological frameworks that account for reinforcement or balance responses in sequential choice and identifies theoretically relevant moderating variables that lead to either response.

Keywords

Sequential choice Reinforcement Balance 

References

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous (2007). A brief guide to alcoholics anonymous [electronic version]. Retrieved July 2, 2007 from http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/en_pdfs/p-42_abriefguidetoaa.pdf.
  2. Baumeister, R. F., Sparks, E. A., Stillman, T. F., & Vohs, K. D. (2008). Free will in consumer behavior: Self-control, ego depletion, and choice. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18, 4–13.Google Scholar
  3. Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 6 (pp. 1–62). New York: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burger, J. M. (1999). The foot-in-the-door compliance procedure: A multiple-process analysis and review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 303–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cialdini, R., Vincent, J., Lewis, S., Catalan, J., Wheeler, D., & Darby, B. (1975). Reciprocal concessions procedure for inducing compliance: The door-in-the-face technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 206–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cialdini, R. B., Trost, M. R., & Newsom, J. T. (1995). Preference for consistency: The development of a valid measure and the discovery of surprising behavioral implications. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 69(2), 318–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dhar, R., & Simonson, I. (1999). Making complementary choices in consumption episodes: Highlighting versus balancing. Journal of Marketing Research, 36, 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dhar, R., Huber, J., & Khan, U. (2007). Shopping momentum. Journal of Marketing Research, 44, 370–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Drolet, A. (2002). Inherent rule variability in consumer choice: Changing rules for change’s sake. Journal of Consumer Research, 29, 293–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fishbach, A., & Dhar, R. (2006). Goals as excuses or guides: The liberating effect of perceived goal progress on choice. Journal of Consumer Research, 32, 370–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fishbach, A., & Dhar, R. (2007). Dynamics of goal based choice: Towards understanding on how goals commit versus liberate choice. In C. P. Haugtvedt, P. M. Herr & F. R. Kardes (Eds.), Handbook of consumer psychology. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Freedman, J., & Fraser, S. (1966). Compliance without pressure: The foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 196–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldsmith, K., Khan, U., & Dhar, R. (2007). Reinforcing “shoulds”: The effect of mindsets on sequential choices. Working paper, Yale School of Management. Google Scholar
  14. Gollwitzer, P. M., & Bayer, U. (1999). Deliberative versus implemental mindsets in the control of action. In S. Chaiken, & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual-process theories in social psychology (pp. 403–422). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  15. Khan, U., & Dhar, R. (2007). Licensing effect in consumer choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 44, 370–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kivetz, R., & Simonson, I. (2002). Earning the right to indulge: Effort as a determinant of customer preferences toward frequency program rewards. Journal of Marketing Research, 39, 155–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Koo, M., & Fishbach, A. (2008). Dynamics of self-regulation: How (un)accomplished goal actions affect motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 183–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 126, 247–259.Google Scholar
  19. Novemsky, N., Dhar, R., Wang, J., & Baumesiter, R. F. (2007). Effects of depletion in sequential choice. Working paper, Yale School of Management.Google Scholar
  20. Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2003). Temporal construal. Psychological Review, 119, 403–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Trope, Y., Liberman, N., & Wakslak, C. (2007). Construal levels and psychological distance: Effects on representation, prediction, evaluation, and behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17(2), 83–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Vallacher, R. R., & Wegner, D. M. (1987). What do people think they’re doing? Action identification and human behavior. Psychological Review, 94, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Weber, M. (1958). The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, translated by Talcott Parsons. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  24. Weight Watchers (2007). Our approach to weight loss: Proven, healthy and sustainable. [electronic version]. Retrieved August 25, 2007 from http://www.weightwatchers.com/plan/apr/index.aspx.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations