Effects of temptations on the affective salience of weight control goals.
ABSTRACT Despite the value of weight control goals, the maintenance of healthy eating habits represents a challenge for most. Self-regulatory efforts are often challenged by the presence of high-risk cues (e.g., tempting foods) which provide short-term positive outcomes at the expense of these long-term health objectives. The current study examined contextual influences on self-regulation failure by exploring the effect of cues on an indirect measure of goal value. Two experiments were conducted with undergraduate students which examined the effect of temptation cues on the evaluation of information related to the goal of weight control. Results of Study 1 provided preliminary evidence for the utility of this task as an indirect measure of goal value and showed that food-related primes slowed evaluation response times for weight control-related targets. Study 2 replicated and extended these findings by demonstrating that temptation cues may not only decrease the affective salience of weight control related information but increase the salience of information related to the goal of affect enhancement. These results suggest that self-regulation failure may be influenced by contextual changes in the value of health-related goals. Implications for prevention and intervention efforts are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: The present research explored the nature of automatic associations formed between short-term motives (temptations) and the overriding goals with which they interfere. Five experimental studies, encompassing several self-regulatory domains, found that temptations tend to activate such higher priority goals, whereas the latter tend to inhibit the temptations. These activation patterns occurred outside of participants' conscious awareness and did not appear to tax their mental resources. Moreover, they varied as a function of subjective goal importance and were more pronounced for successful versus unsuccessful self-regulators in a given domain. Finally, priming by temptation stimuli was found not only to influence the activation of overriding goals but also to affect goal-congruent behavioral choices.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 03/2003; 84(2):296-309. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A motivational framework is presented linking personal goals and self-regulatory functions to normal personality, psychopathology, and the processes of change. First, the utility of goals as a "final common analytic pathway" or integrative unit is considered. Next, the premises of an emerging, goal-centered conception of adaptive functioning are discussed as a prelude to the author's outlining of a multidimensional working model of "goal systems." Reactive depression is reconceptualized in terms of specific self-regulatory dysfunctions under the influence of goal systems to illustrate how dysfunctional goal systems can serve as the central organizing component of psychopathology. A set of 10 propositions pinpoints goal-based sources of vulnerability to self-regulatory dysfunction in depression. A set of 5 propositions details the potential goal-based sources of maintenance of self-regulatory deficits. Finally, 14 theory-based principles of psychotherapeutic change are proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)Review of General Psychology 11/1999; 3(4):264-291. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Four studies examined how diverse aspects of goal pursuit are influenced by the accessibility of alternative goals. It was consistently found that such an accessibility often affects the resources allocated to a focal goal, influencing commitment, progress, and the development of effective means, as well as one's emotional reponses to positive and negative feedback about one's striving efforts. Moreover, the direction of these influences was found to depend on how the alternative goals relate to the focal pursuit. Alternatives unrelated to the focal goal pull resources away from it, whereas alternatives facilitatively related to a focal goal draw resources toward it.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 01/2002;