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Dynamics of multiple-goal pursuit.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of personality and social psychology
Publication Date
Volume
93
Issue
2
Pages
174–193
Identifiers
PMID: 17645394
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The authors propose and test a model of multiple-goal pursuit that specifies how individuals allocate effort among multiple goals over time. The model predicts that whether individuals decide to step up effort, coast, abandon the current goal, or switch to pursue another goal is determined jointly by the emotions that flow from prior goal progress and the proximity to future goal attainment, and proximally determined by changes in expectancies about goal attainment. Results from a longitudinal diary study and 2 experiments show that positive and negative goal-related emotions can have diametrically opposing effects on goal-directed behavior, depending on the individual's proximity to goal attainment. The findings resolve contrasting predictions about the influence of positive and negative emotions in volitional behavior, critically amend the goal gradient hypothesis, and provide new insights into the dynamics and determinants of multiple-goal pursuit.

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