"What do I do now?": Reactions to negative discrepancies in goal striving

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Title: "What do I do now?": Reactions to negative discrepancies in goal striving
Creators: van Dommelen, Lorraine G.
Advisor: Billings, Robert S.
Issue Date: 2005-06
Abstract: When individuals fail to reach a goal, they tend to make judgments about why and then make decisions about addressing subsequent goals. The relationship between failure to reach a goal (negative goal discrepancy) and reaction to a failure seen in cognitive and/or behavioral outcome decisions is assessed in an undergraduate psychology class (n =175). Students’ judgments of their attributions, state affect toward performance feedback, expectancies toward subsequent goals and changes in goals and behavior are measured. This study is conducted over three goal-striving and feedback-reception cycles (two midterms and a final). It is predicted that expectancy of reaching future goals is related to decisions about altering goals, with attribution judgments moderating the relationship between a negative goal discrepancy and expectancy. It is also predicted that a negative goal discrepancy is related to decisions about altering behavior, with attribution judgments moderating this relationship. The role of affect in the goal striving process is also examined. The results of this research offer partial support for the proposed relationships. The locus of causality attribution was found to moderate many of the relationships between discrepancy and the cognitive and behavioral reactions to it. In addition it is clear that affect does have a place in the discrepancy reduction process, though its exact role is not clear. Future research should attempt to address these questions in more depth.
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses;2005
Keywords: Goals
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/383
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