A new study has revealed that when people move from the early stages of pursuing a goal to a more advanced stage, they tend to alienate other members of a support group.
Szu-chi Huang (Stanford University), Susan M. Broniarczyk (University of Texas at Austin), Ying Zhang (Peking University), and Mariam Beruchashvili (California State University, Northridge) wrote that when consumers start working toward a goal, they often feel uncertain about how to achieve the goal and see others at a similar stage as friends, so they pass on helpful tips and cheer each other on.
But once the goal was in sight, consumers feel more certain and believe they don't need support from others, so they become distant and keep useful information to themselves, they further added.
Since sharing information benefits consumers, this research can help support groups such as Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, or smoking cessation programs find ways to keep people engaged and working toward their goals.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.