Studies Show That People Who Talk About Their Goals Tend Not To Complete Them

by • November 26, 2010 • PsychologyComments (0)1888

Studies showing that people who talk about their goals tend not to complete them.  Based on Lewinian goal theory in general and self-completion theory in particular, four experiments examined the implications of other people taking notice of one’s identity-related behavioral intentions (i.e. the intention to read law periodicals regularly to reach the identity goal of becoming a lawyer).  Identity-related behavioral intentions that had been noticed by other people were translated into action less intensively than those that had been ignored (Studies #1–3).  This effect was evident in the field (persistent striving over 1 week’s time from Study #1) and in the laboratory (jumping on opportunities to act from Studies #2 and #3), and it held among participants with strong but not weak commitment to the identity goal (Study #3).  Study #4 showed, in addition, that when other people take notice of an individual’s identity-related behavioral intention, this gives the individual a premature sense of possessing the aspired-to identity.

Source: Space Collective

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