The authors suggest that people strategically manage—specifically, lower—their expectations to increase future satisfaction. Consumers who are more disconfirmation sensitive, that is, those who are more satisfied (dissatisfied) when a product performs better (worse) than expected, are hypothesized to have lower expectations. In contrast, the authors expect that consumers who are perfectionists will have higher expectations than those who are not. Results from a laboratory experiment and a field study are consistent with the hypotheses. Furthermore, the authors identify a possible third type of expectation ('as-if') that serves as a basis for postpurchase evaluation and provide preliminary evidence that it differs from both will and should expectations.
Kopalle, Praveen, and Donald Lehmann. "Strategic Management of Expectations: The Role of Disconfirmation Sensitivity and Perfectionism." Journal of Marketing Research 38, no. 3 (August 2001): 386-94.
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