Modeling Simultaneous Multiple Goal Pursuit and Adaptation in Consumer Choice

Modeling Simultaneous Multiple Goal Pursuit and Adaptation in Consumer Choice

Joffre Swait, Jennifer Argo, Lianhua Li 

Forthcoming, Journal of Marketing Research 


Goals are constructs that direct choice behavior by guiding a decision maker towards desirable (or away from undesirable) end-states. Oftentimes, consumers are motivated to satisfy multiple goals within a single choice. While recognizing this possibility, the literature has not directly formulated models of choice as a multi-goal problem. We develop such a model, referred to as the Multiple-Goal-Based-Choice-Model, that incorporates 1) simultaneous multiple goal pursuit and 2) context-driven goal adaptation, but 3) does not require a priori identification of the number or nature of the goals. Goal adaptation within a single choice instance, allied to repeated choices, is the key to empirical identification of multiple latent goals. The proposed model is tested and supported using discrete choice experimental data on digital cameras via multiple validation exercises. The model can lead to significantly different policy implications with regards to consumers’ valuation for new product designs, compared to extant utility-based choice models.

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