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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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The Effect of Goal Specificity on Consumer Goal Reengagement

Maura L. Scott, Stephen M. Nowlis
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/670766 444-459 First published online: 1 October 2013


Consumers often need to decide if they want to reengage a goal, such as a goal of losing weight, a goal of saving money, or a goal of performing well on a video game. This research finds that consumers are more likely to reengage a goal when they have set a high-low range goal (e.g., lose 2–4 pounds this week) than when they have set a single number goal (e.g., lose 3 pounds this week). This effect is driven by the greater attainability and greater challenge of the high-low range goal, which then leads to a greater feeling of accomplishment. Thus, these findings suggest that in order to keep a consumer motivated over time to continue with an activity or continue using a product, that consumer should first set or be given a high-low range goal.

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