Goal-Attribute Compatibility in Consumer Choice

Alexander Chernev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


This research advances the notion that product evaluations are a function of the compatibility of consumers' goals with the attributes describing choice alternatives. Building on the concept of self-regulation, it is argued that attribute evaluations are moderated by individuals' goal orientation and, specifically, that attributes compatible with individuals' regulatory orientation tend to be overweighted in choice. This proposition is tested by examining the impact of goal orientation on consumer preferences in 3 different contexts: (a) hedonic versus utilitarian attributes, (b) performance versus reliability attributes, and (c) attractive versus unattractive (good vs. bad) attributes. The data show that prevention-focused individuals are more likely to overweight (in relative terms) utilitarian, reliability-related, and unattractive attributes than promotion-focused consumers, who are more likely to place relatively more weight on hedonic, performance-related, and attractive attributes. Considered together, these findings support the proposition that attributes compatible with individuals' goal orientation tend to be overweighted in choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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