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Action crises and goal disengagement: Longitudinal evidence on the predictive validity of a motivational phase in goal striving


Herrmann, Marcel; Brandstätter, Veronika (2015). Action crises and goal disengagement: Longitudinal evidence on the predictive validity of a motivational phase in goal striving. Motivation Science, 1(2):121-136.

Abstract

An action crisis has been defined as the decisional conflict between continuing and disengaging from the pursuit of a personal goal. In line with Klinger’s (1975) theoretical ideas about an incentive-disengagement cycle and in line with mindset theory of action phases (Gollwitzer, 1990, 2012), experiencing an action crisis has been related to cognitive and affective mechanisms assumed to facilitate the abandonment of a goal (e.g., symptoms of depression, reevaluation of the respective pros and cons). An action crisis’ role in the prediction of goal disengagement, however, has not yet been empirically validated. In accordance with the theoretical conceptions, in a longitudinal study with n = 207 freshman students over one and a half years, an action crisis, with respect to one’s studies as well as 2 nonacademic personal goals, had a predictive effect on goal disengagement and, for the academic goal, progress (i.e., the total amount of accumulated credit points). Furthermore, a more severe action crisis was longitudinally associated with an earlier disengagement. All effects remained stable when controlling for goal desirability and attainability as well as an array of self-regulatory traits. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for self-regulation in personal goal striving.

Abstract

An action crisis has been defined as the decisional conflict between continuing and disengaging from the pursuit of a personal goal. In line with Klinger’s (1975) theoretical ideas about an incentive-disengagement cycle and in line with mindset theory of action phases (Gollwitzer, 1990, 2012), experiencing an action crisis has been related to cognitive and affective mechanisms assumed to facilitate the abandonment of a goal (e.g., symptoms of depression, reevaluation of the respective pros and cons). An action crisis’ role in the prediction of goal disengagement, however, has not yet been empirically validated. In accordance with the theoretical conceptions, in a longitudinal study with n = 207 freshman students over one and a half years, an action crisis, with respect to one’s studies as well as 2 nonacademic personal goals, had a predictive effect on goal disengagement and, for the academic goal, progress (i.e., the total amount of accumulated credit points). Furthermore, a more severe action crisis was longitudinally associated with an earlier disengagement. All effects remained stable when controlling for goal desirability and attainability as well as an array of self-regulatory traits. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for self-regulation in personal goal striving.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:June 2015
Deposited On:30 Nov 2015 15:37
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:36
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:2333-8113
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/mot0000016

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