Behavioral consistency and inconsistency in the resolution of goal conflict

Juliano Laran, Chris Janiszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


During the course of a day, consumers experience choices that involve goal conflict (e.g., eat tasty vs. healthy food, recreate vs. work, relax vs. act). In some cases, an initial behavior is followed by a similar behavior. In other cases, an initial behavior is followed by an opposing behavior. We posit that a passive guidance system can nonconsciously guide behavior when there is goal conflict and, hence, determine whether a sequence of behaviors will be consistent or inconsistent. The passive guidance system is sensitive to whether a current behavior sustains goal activation and encourages similar future behaviors or results in goal achievement and encourages dissimilar future behaviors. Eight experiments provide evidence for this passive guidance system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-984
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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