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When the going gets tough: the “why” of goal striving matters

Record type: Article

No prior research has examined how motivation for goal striving influences persistence in the face of increasing goal difficulty. This research examined the role of self-reported (Study 1) and primed (Study 2) autonomous and controlled motives in predicting objectively assessed persistence during the pursuit of an increasingly difficult goal. In Study 1, 100 British athletes (64 males; Mage?=?19.89 years, SDage?=?2.43) pursued a goal of increasing difficulty on a cycle ergometer. In Study 2, 90 British athletes (43 males; Mage?=?19.63 years, SDage?=?1.14) engaged in the same task, but their motivation was primed by asking them to observe a video of an actor describing her or his involvement in an unrelated study. In Study 1, self-reported autonomous goal motives predicted goal persistence via challenge appraisals and task-based coping. In contrast, controlled goal motives predicted threat appraisals and disengagement coping, which, in turn, was a negative predictor of persistence. In Study 2, primed autonomous (compared to controlled) goal motives predicted greater persistence, positive affect, and future interest for task engagement. The findings underscore the importance of autonomous motivation for behavioral investment in the face of increased goal difficulty.

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Ntoumanis, N., Healy, L.C., Sedikides, Constantine, Duda, J.L., Stewart, B. and Bond, J. (2014) When the going gets tough: the “why” of goal striving matters Journal of Personality, 82, (3), pp. 225-236. (doi:10.1111/jopy.12047).

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e-pub ahead of print date: 6 August 2013
Published date: June 2014


Local EPrints ID: 364908
ISSN: 0022-3506
PURE UUID: fad2bb2e-2504-449e-a2c0-8da26d73a5e8

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Date deposited: 14 May 2014 10:24
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:26

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Author: N. Ntoumanis
Author: L.C. Healy
Author: J.L. Duda
Author: B. Stewart
Author: J. Bond

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