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The Ill-Fated Quest for Fame in Psychological Research


Freund, Alexandra M (2017). The Ill-Fated Quest for Fame in Psychological Research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(6):1141-1144.

Abstract

The question "Am I famous yet?" directs our attention to the outcome of the journey of being a psychological scientist. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to achieve the highest possible outcomes when pursuing a goal. However, for a researcher, fame is an outcome that is very vague, abstract, distal, and unlikely to be attained. Focusing on this outcome might undermine motivation and persistence in the difficult endeavor of doing excellent research and contributing to psychological knowledge. To become an excellent psychological scientist might be a better outcome to which to aspire. However, focusing on the outcome seems generally less adaptive than focusing on the process of goal pursuit. A focus on the process of research is more likely to lead to higher motivation and persistence, and it might increase performance. In sum, the question "Am I famous yet?" might be ill conceived and might be better replaced by the question "How do I make a contribution to psychological science?"

Abstract

The question "Am I famous yet?" directs our attention to the outcome of the journey of being a psychological scientist. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to achieve the highest possible outcomes when pursuing a goal. However, for a researcher, fame is an outcome that is very vague, abstract, distal, and unlikely to be attained. Focusing on this outcome might undermine motivation and persistence in the difficult endeavor of doing excellent research and contributing to psychological knowledge. To become an excellent psychological scientist might be a better outcome to which to aspire. However, focusing on the outcome seems generally less adaptive than focusing on the process of goal pursuit. A focus on the process of research is more likely to lead to higher motivation and persistence, and it might increase performance. In sum, the question "Am I famous yet?" might be ill conceived and might be better replaced by the question "How do I make a contribution to psychological science?"

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2 citations in Scopus®
1 citation in Microsoft Academic
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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Psychology
Language:English
Date:November 2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 09:14
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 13:07
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1745-6916
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617723148
PubMed ID:29149584

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