Is it better to start off with ambitious goals or conservative goals?

Via Eurekalert:

Consumers who set ambitious goals have a greater level of satisfaction compared to those who set conservative goals, according to a recently published paper by the Cecile K. Cho, a University of California, Riverside assistant marketing professor.

Cho and her co-author and Gita Venkataramani Johar, a professor at Columbia University, set up two experiments to compare people who set ambitious goals to those who set conservative goals. They focused on situations in which goals were achieved, and measured the level of satisfaction with the achieved goals.

“The moral of the story is don’t sell yourself short,” Cho said. “Aim high.”

The paper, “Attaining Satisfaction,” has been published online in the Journal of Consumer Research. It will appear in the December issue of the journal.

The paper aimed to answer whether lowering expectations helps manage happiness. 

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