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

Gabriele Oettingen, Karoline Schnetter, Hyeon Ju Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-753
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume80
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2001

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Fantasy
self-regulation
commitment
present
activation
expenditures
Health Expenditures
Self-Control
experiment
performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Self-regulation of goal setting : Turning free fantasies about the future into binding goals. / Oettingen, Gabriele; Schnetter, Karoline; Pak, Hyeon Ju.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 80, No. 5, 05.2001, p. 736-753.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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