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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 May;80(5):736-53.

Self-regulation of goal setting: turning free fantasies about the future into binding goals.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, New York University, New York 10003, USA. bettingen@psych.nyu.edu

Abstract

Fantasy realization theory states that when people contrast their fantasies about a desired future with reflections on present reality, a necessity to act is induced that leads to the activation and use of relevant expectations. Strong goal commitment arises in light of favorable expectations, and weak goal commitment arises in light of unfavorable expectations. To the contrary, when people only fantasize about a desired future or only reflect on present reality, expectancy-independent moderate goal commitment emerges. Four experiments pertaining to various life domains supported these hypotheses. Strength of goal commitment was assessed in cognitive (e.g., making plans), affective (e.g., felt attachment), and behavioral terms (e.g., effort expenditure, quality of performance). Implications for theories on goal setting and goal striving are discussed.

PMID:
11374746
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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