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Eight experiments were conducted to explore the relationships between goal level, valence, and instrumentality. Valence, measured in terms of anticipated satisfaction across a range of performance levels, was strongly but negatively related to goal level. This finding was explained by showing that low goals entail using less stringent standards for self-evaluation than do high goals. Instrumentality was positively associated with goal level. Ss believed that trying for hard goals would be more likely to give them a sense of achievement, develop their skills, and prove them competent than would trying for easy goals. Ss also believed that high goals would lead to more practical (job and life) benefits, as well as more pride and self-respect, than would low goals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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