Self-regulatory responses to unattainable goals: The role of goal motives

Ntoumanis, N., Healey, L.C., Sedikides, Constantine, Smith, A.L. and Duda, J.L. (2014) Self-regulatory responses to unattainable goals: The role of goal motives Self and Identity, 13, (5), pp. 594-612. (doi:10.1080/15298868.2014.889033).


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Does motivation for goal pursuit predict how individuals will respond when confronted with unattainable goals? Two studies examined the role of autonomous and controlled motives when pursuing an unattainable goal without (Study 1) or with (Study 2) the opportunity to reengage in alternative goal pursuit. Autonomous motives positively predicted the cognitive ease of reengagement with an alternative goal when the current goal was perceived as unattainable, especially when participants realized goal unattainability relatively early during goal striving. Autonomous motives, however, were negative predictors of cognitive ease of disengagement from an unattainable goal. When faced with failure, autonomously motivated individuals are better off realizing early the goal unattainability. Otherwise, they will find it difficult to disengage cognitively from the pursued goal (despite reengaging cognitively in an alternative goal), possibly due to interfering rumination.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/15298868.2014.889033
ISSNs: 1529-8868 (print)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ePrint ID: 368185
Date :
Date Event
25 February 2014Published
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2014 15:55
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 13:11
Further Information:Google Scholar

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