Pursuing Personal Goals: Skills Enable Progress, but Not all Progress is Beneficial

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.22). 01/1998; 24(12):1319-1331. DOI: 10.1177/01461672982412006

ABSTRACT Although goal theorists have speculated about the causes and consequences of making progress at personal goals, little longitudinal research has examined these issues. In the current prospective study, participants with stronger social and self-regulatory skills made more progress in their goals over the course of a semester. In turn, goal progress predicted increases in psychological well-being, both in short-term (5-day) increments and across the whole semester; At both short- and long-term levels of analysis, however, the amount that well-being increased depended on the "organismic congruence" of participants' goals. That is, participants benefited most from goal attainment when the goals that they pursued were consistent with inherent psychological needs. We conclude that a fuller understanding of the relations between goals, performance, and psychological well-being requires recourse to both cybernetic and organismic theories of motivation.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is growing acceptance that optimal service provision for individuals with severe and recurrent mental illness requires a complementary focus on medical recovery (i.e., symptom management and general functioning) and personal recovery (i.e., having a 'life worth living'). Despite significant research attention and policy-level support, the translation of this vision of healthcare into changed workplace practice continues to elude. Over the past decade, evidence-based training interventions that seek to enhance the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of staff working in the mental health field have been implemented as a primary redress strategy. However, a large body of multi-disciplinary research indicates disappointing rates of training transfer. There is an absence of empirical research that investigates the importance of worker-motivation in the uptake of desired workplace change initiatives. 'Autonomy' is acknowledged as important to human effectiveness and as a correlate of workplace variables like productivity, and wellbeing. To our knowledge, there have been no studies that investigate purposeful and structured use of values-based interventions to facilitate increased autonomy as a means of promoting enhanced implementation of workplace change. This study involves 200 mental health workers across 22 worksites within five community-managed organisations in three Australian states. It involves cluster-randomisation of participants within organisation, by work site, to the experimental (values) condition, or the control (implementation). Both conditions receive two days of training focusing on an evidence-based framework of mental health service delivery. The experimental group receives a third day of values-focused intervention and 12 months of values-focused coaching. Well-validated self-report measures are used to explore variables related to values concordance, autonomy, and self-reported implementation success. Audits of work files and staff work samples are reviewed for each condition to determine the impact of implementation. Self-determination theory and theories of organisational change are used to interpret the data. The research adds to the current knowledge base related to worker motivation and uptake of workplace practice. It describes a structured protocol that aims to enhance worker autonomy for imposed workplace practices. The research will inform how best to measure and conceptualise transfer. These findings will apply particularly to contexts where individuals are not 'volunteers' in requisite change processes.Trial registration: ACTRN: ACTRN12613000353796.
    Implementation Science 07/2013; 8(1):75. · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of global autonomous motivation and global perceived control on young adults’ adaptive goal striving and emotional well-being. We reasoned that autonomously motivated participants who also perceive high levels of control would make accelerated progress with the pursuit of their most important goal and experience associated increases in emotional well-being. By contrast, we predicted that these benefits of autonomous motivation would be reduced among participants who perceive low levels of control. A 6-month longitudinal study of 125 college students was conducted, and self-reported global autonomous motivation, global perceived control, progress towards the most important goal, and emotional well-being were assessed. Regression analyses showed that the combination of high baseline levels of global autonomous motivation and global perceived control was associated with accelerated goal progress after 6 months, which mediated 6-month increases in emotional well-being. These benefits were not apparent among autonomously motivated participants who perceived low levels of control. The study’s findings suggest that global autonomous motivation and perceived control may need to work together to foster adaptive goal striving and emotional well-being.
    Motivation and Emotion 05/2013; 37:675-687. · 1.55 Impact Factor