One reason that goal gradient patterns occur, at least in humans, is that people judge late-state events to have greater value than equivalent early-stage events. In many situations, this makes perfect sense because the ratio of benefit to (remaining) cost increases as one approaches a goal. For example, when someone must rate 10 more songs to receive $10, the expected value of rating the next song is $1. In contrast, when the person advances and must rate only 2 more songs to receive $10, the expected value of rating the next song is $5.
Have you ever wondered why your users do not interact with your product the way you hope? Persuading people to perform a particular action, like signing up or buying a product, is a challenge in most industries, especially when you want that action to be performed repeatedly. As UX practitioners, we try to create the best conditions for users to complete their tasks, and yet even the most usable interface is sometimes not enough to engage users. Why is that? To understand the reasons behind what drives users to certain behaviors, we need to look at the psychology that underlies the process of initiating and performing a behavior.