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Means or outcomes? Goal orientation predicts process and outcome focus


Mustafić, Maida; Freund, Alexandra M (2012). Means or outcomes? Goal orientation predicts process and outcome focus. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(4):493-499.

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that the representation of goals primarily in terms of means (process focus) compared to outcomes of goal pursuit (outcome focus) increases across the lifespan. Nothing is known, however, about the processes underlying this age-related difference. The current study investigates age-related differences in growth and maintenance orientation as one of the factors contributing to age-related differences in goal focus. A self-report study (N=123, 18 to 82 years, M=48.59) presents first evidence that process focus is predicted by maintenance goal orientation, whereas outcome focus is predicted by growth goal orientation. Moreover, maintenance goal orientation mediates the positive association of age and process focus. Results are discussed taking a functional perspective of the role of goal orientation in age-related differences in goal focus.

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that the representation of goals primarily in terms of means (process focus) compared to outcomes of goal pursuit (outcome focus) increases across the lifespan. Nothing is known, however, about the processes underlying this age-related difference. The current study investigates age-related differences in growth and maintenance orientation as one of the factors contributing to age-related differences in goal focus. A self-report study (N=123, 18 to 82 years, M=48.59) presents first evidence that process focus is predicted by maintenance goal orientation, whereas outcome focus is predicted by growth goal orientation. Moreover, maintenance goal orientation mediates the positive association of age and process focus. Results are discussed taking a functional perspective of the role of goal orientation in age-related differences in goal focus.

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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
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:13 Feb 2013 14:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:24
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1740-5610
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2012.661411

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