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

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.52). 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: The purpose of the present study was to investigate effects of implementation intentions on taking one multivitamin tablet, everyday, for 2 weeks, among individuals who endorsed self-concordant and self-discordant forms of motivation. A 2 (implementation intentions: yes, no) × 3 (motivation: self-concordance, self-discordance, control) experimental design was adopted with university students being exposed to manipulations of implementation intentions, self-concordance, and self-discordance (male = 110, female = 120, M age = 23.50 years, SD = 7.21). Results of the study indicated that while implementation intentions increased multivitamin intake for individuals who endorsed self-concordant and self-discordant forms of motivation, the combination of self-concordance and implementation intentions produced particularly enhanced levels of compliance on multivitamin intake. The implications of results of the present study to theory development and practice are discussed.
    British Journal of Psychology 11/2010; 101(Pt 4):705-18. · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Self-determination theory posits that informational versus controlling interpretations of intra-personal events have positive and negative implications, respectively, for well-being. Self-talk represents an intra-personal event that could be interpreted as informational or controlling and may attenuate or exacerbate the negative effects of a stressful experience. The present study investigated relationships between students' informational and controlling interpretations of self-talk, and their post-lecture affective state. An interactive hypothesis, whereby self-talk would be more strongly associated with well-being when students reported experiencing the lecture as stressful, was also tested. Participants were 146 male and female undergraduate students (M age=19.25, SD=2.57) enrolled on research methods/statistics modules. Immediately post-lecture, participants completed a measure of informational and controlling self-talk, short forms of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale, and self-report measures of their experience and understanding of the lecture. Findings from moderated hierarchical regression analyses indicated that informational self-talk was positively associated with positive affect regardless of students' experience or understanding of a lecture. Significant interactions were found between controlling self-talk and experience and understanding, in that a negative experience or poor understanding predicted higher state anxiety and negative affect when students used high, but not low, levels of controlling self-talk. The functional significance of students' self-talk may have implications for affect in higher education, suggesting that providers should promote the use of self-talk that emphasizses students' autonomy and competence.
    British Journal of Educational Psychology 10/2009; 80(Pt 2):307-23. · 1.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Psycho-Oncology 20:1184-1192. · 3.51 Impact Factor