The Effect of Goal Difficulty on Escalation of Commitment

The Effect of Goal Difficulty on Escalation of Commitment Escalation of commitment to a failing course of action is a problem in behavioral decision making that occurs across a wide range of social contexts. In this research, we show that examining escalation of commitment from a goal setting theory perspective provides fresh insights into how goal difficulty influences escalation of commitment. Specifically, through a series of two experiments, we found a curvilinear relationship between goal difficulty and post‐feedback goal commitment, which was mediated by valence and expectancy associated with goal attainment. In turn, it is commitment to goals that leads individuals to continue a previous course of action despite negative feedback. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Behavioral Decision Making Wiley

The Effect of Goal Difficulty on Escalation of Commitment

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
0894-3257
eISSN
1099-0771
D.O.I.
10.1002/bdm.1835
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Escalation of commitment to a failing course of action is a problem in behavioral decision making that occurs across a wide range of social contexts. In this research, we show that examining escalation of commitment from a goal setting theory perspective provides fresh insights into how goal difficulty influences escalation of commitment. Specifically, through a series of two experiments, we found a curvilinear relationship between goal difficulty and post‐feedback goal commitment, which was mediated by valence and expectancy associated with goal attainment. In turn, it is commitment to goals that leads individuals to continue a previous course of action despite negative feedback. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Journal of Behavioral Decision MakingWiley

Published: Apr 1, 2015

References

  • A note on the role of laboratory methodologies in applied behavioural research: Don't throw out the baby with the bath water
    Dobbins, Dobbins; Lane, Lane; Steiner, Steiner
  • The effects of feedback equivocality on escalation of commitment: An empirical investigation of decision dilemma theory
    Hantula, Hantula; Bragger, Bragger
  • Implementation intentions and disengagement from a failing course of action
    Henderson, Henderson; Gollwitzer, Gollwitzer; Oettingen, Oettingen
  • The effects of explicit goals and specific feedback on escalation processes
    Kernan, Kernan; Lord, Lord
  • Moving from cognition to action: A control theory perspective
    Lord, Lord; Levy, Levy
  • The sunk‐time effect: An exploration
    Navarro, Navarro; Fantino, Fantino
  • The effects of goal distance and value in escalation of commitment
    Ting, Ting
  • When success breeds failure: The role of self‐efficacy in escalating commitment to a losing course of action
    Whyte, Whyte; Saks, Saks; Hook, Hook
  • The role of risk in making decision under escalation situations
    Wong, Wong
  • Interrelationships among employee participation, individual differences, goal difficulty, and performance
    Yukl, Yukl; Latham, Latham

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