[LINK] Why You Should Keep Your Goals Secret

by Barry_Cotter 1 min read3rd Mar 20128 comments


Popularisation, extremely short

Original Article [pdf]


When intentions go public: does social reality widen the intention-behavior gap?


New York University, Psychology Department, New York, NY 10003, USA. peter.gollwitzer@nyu.edu


Based on Lewinian goal theory in general and self-completion theory in particular, four experiments examined the implications of other people taking notice of one's identity-related behavioral intentions (e.g., the intention to read law periodicals regularly to reach the identity goal of becoming a lawyer). Identity-related behavioral intentions that had been noticed by other people were translated into action less intensively than those that had been ignored (Studies 1-3). This effect was evident in the field (persistent striving over 1 week's time; Study 1) and in the laboratory (jumping on opportunities to act; Studies 2 and 3), and it held among participants with strong but not weak commitment to the identity goal (Study 3). Study 4 showed, in addition, that when other people take notice of an individual's identity-related behavioral intention, this gives the individual a premature sense of possessing the aspired-to identity.


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