Goals as Reference Points

  title={Goals as Reference Points},
  author={Chip Heath and Richard P. Larrick and George Wu},
  journal={Cognitive Psychology},
We argue that goals serve as reference points and alter outcomes in a manner consistent with the value function of Prospect Theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; Tversky & Kahneman, 1992). We present new evidence that goals inherit the properties of the value function-not only a reference point, but also loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity. We also use the value function to explain previous empirical results in the goal literature on affect, effort, persistence, and performance. 
A prospect theory model of goal behavior
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Reference Points and Effort Provision
A key open question for theories of reference-dependent preferences is what determines the reference point. One candidate is expectations: what people expect could affect how they feel about what
Goals as Reference Points in Marathon Running: A Novel Test of Reference Dependence
In a large-scale field study of marathon runners, we test whether goals act as reference points in shaping the valuation of outcomes. Theories of reference-dependent preferences, such as Prospect
The Loss of Loss Aversion: Paying Attention to Reference Points
We agree with Gal and Rucker (2018, in press) that loss aversion is not as firmly established as typically assumed. We affirm, however, the more general principle put forward within Prospect Theory
Goal Setting as a Self-Regulation Mechanism
We develop a theory of self-regulation based on goal setting for an agent with present-biased preferences. Preferences are assumed to be reference-dependent and exhibit loss aversion, as in prospect
Expectations and Aspirations: Explaining Ambitious Goal-setting and Nonconvex Preferences
Research in psychology typically distinguishes between expectations and aspirations, yet economic models that incorporate reference dependence generally assume a single reference point. We propose a
Goals as Reference Points: Empirical Evidence from a Virtual Reward System
It is found that users gradually increase their performance in the days prior to earning a badge, with performance peaking on the day of the promotion, and the characteristic S-shape of the prospect theory value function which is convex below the reference point and concave above it is suggested.
Reference Point Formation
It is well-established that reference points are a feature of decision making under risk. In this paper we report an experiment, in which we investigate which of three potential reference points: (1)
Chapter 5 Reference Points for the Valuation of Risk Changes in Discrete Choice Experiments 1 5
  • 2017
Prospect theory and its variant, cumulative prospect theory, are the most established choice theories that accommodate empirical findings which contradict expected utility theory (Kahneman and
Goal-setting and self-control
  • Alice Hsiaw
  • Economics, Computer Science
    J. Econ. Theory
  • 2013


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