Pursuing Personal Goals: Skills Enable Progress But Not All Progress is Beneficial

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.52). 12/1998; 24(12):1319-1331. DOI: 10.1177/01461672982412006


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.

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    • "This may lead to further positive impacts on internalisation of the values embedded within a workplace change over and above the significant findings realised in this study. Given the relevance of values concordant goal-setting and striving to personal wellbeing [20, 24], the present research also highlights the need to better understand possible dual impacts of value-based interventions on effective goal striving and employee well-being in an era where organisational effectiveness and responsibility to personnel are increasingly emphasised [52, 53]. "

    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Implementation Science
    • "Specifically, Sheldon et al. (2010) found that even though happiness was relatively low among people with strong extrinsic values (which involve a high valuation of money and material acquisition; Kasser and Ryan 1996), such individuals nonetheless continued to believe that attaining their extrinsic goals would lead to happiness. The accuracy of this belief is contradicted by evidence showing that progress at (Sheldon and Kasser 1998) and attainment of (Niemiec et al. 2009) extrinsic goals does little or nothing to improve people's well-being and affective state. Given this mixed literature, we considered two competing possibilities regarding how materialism relates to affective experience after spending money on a purchase. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on materialism has burgeoned in the last two decades, yet little is known about how people higher versus lower in this consumer values orientation differ in their day-to-day spending habits and in their emotional reactions to spending on purchases. The present study used an event-sampling method over a 3-week period to address these questions in a community adult sample. Results showed that over the course of the sampling period, high materialists made more discretionary purchases and spent more money on necessity purchases than did those lower in materialism, even though their incomes did not differ. Despite higher levels of spending, high materialists experienced a “letdown” after spending, as they reported more post-purchase unpleasant affect than did low materialists. This result was not moderated by level of dispositional unpleasant affect, purchase type, or purchase amounts.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Happiness Studies
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    • "Parenting styles and to a limited extent parental practices have been shown to influence performance in school, self-esteem and self-worth, sympathy, social competence and behavioural problems as associated with family adversity and discipline, perceptions and so on (Aunola & Nurmi, 2004; Baumrind, 2005; Dumas et al ., 2009; Endicott & Liossis, 2005; Laible & Carlo, 2004; Vieno et al ., 2009) . Limited research has been done linking parenting to the adoption of life goals and aspirations (Laible & Carlo, 2004; Sheldon & Kasser, 1998) . Research by Bray et al . "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the role of parenting styles and basic psychological needs in the adoption of goals and aspirations of learners, as well as for their psychological wellbeing (positive versus negative affect) for a South African sample of learners. A cross-sectional design was used to conduct this study with a sample of 853 learners at public schools in the Western Cape, South Africa (females =57%. Mean age 16.96 years, SD = 1.12). Data were collected using the Parenting Style and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ), Psychological Needs Scale, Aspiration Index and the PANAS. The results suggest that authoritative and authoritarian paternal parenting styles influence the adoption of life goals and psychological wellbeing of adolescents with fathers’ negative parenting possibly reducing on adolescent wellbeing. Extrinsic life goals was a significant predictor of positive affect, while need frustration was a significant predictor for negative affect. These findings add to the current debates within literature by examining the role of parenting styles and basic psychological needs in the adoption of goals and aspirations as well as psychological wellbeing of learners in a developing country context. The study also contributes to the role that the parental environment plays in psychological wellbeing of adolescents specifically the important role of fathers in parent-child relationships.
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