E. Tory Higgins

Engaging the Consumer: The Science and Art of the Value Creation Process

Coauthor(s): Abigail Scholer.


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Regulatory engagement theory [Higgins, E. T. (2006). Value from hedonic experience and engagement. Psychological Review, 113, 439–460.] proposes that value is a motivational force of attraction to or repulsion from something, and that strength of engagement contributes to value intensity independent of hedonic and other sources of value direction. This paper reviews different sources of engagement strength, including dealing with challenges by opposing interfering forces and overcoming personal resistance, preparing for something that is likely to happen, and using "fit" or "proper" means of goal pursuit. We present evidence that each of these sources of engagement strength can intensify the value of something, and we show how stronger engagement can not only make something positive more positive but also make something negative more negative. We also discuss how these effects of stronger engagement on the value of something else are independent of actors' own personal experiences during goal pursuit. We then broaden regulatory engagement theory by describing the nature of these personal experiences from different sources of engagement strength—distinct positive experiences (e.g., feeling "pleasure" vs. feeling "right") and distinct negative experiences (e.g., feeling "tension" vs. feeling "defiance")—and consider the science and art of combining them with engagement strength for maximal persuasion and influence.

The final version of this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcps.2009.02.002.

Source: Journal of Consumer Psychology
Exact Citation:
Higgins, E. Tory, and Abigail Scholer. "Engaging the Consumer: The Science and Art of the Value Creation Process." Journal of Consumer Psychology 19, no. 2 (April 2009): 100-114.
Volume: 19
Number: 2
Pages: 100-114
Date: 4 2009