Mental contrasting instigates goal-pursuit by linking obstacles of reality with instrumental behavior

Publication year: 2012 Source: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Available online 16 February 2012 Andreas Kappes, Henrik Singmann, Gabriele Oettingen The self-regulatory strategy of mental contrasting a desired future with obstacles of reality instigates goal-directed behavior when expectations of success are high and curbs goal-directed behavior when expectations are low (Oettingen, 2000). Two studies show that mental contrasting paired with high expectations of success creates strong associations between obstacles of reality and behavior instrumental to overcome these obstacles; mental contrasting paired with low expectations of success leads to weak associations. Reverse contrasting and irrelevant content control conditions did not produce expectancy-dependent associations between obstacle and instrumental behavior.

Publication year: 2012 Source: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Available online 16 February 2012 Andreas Kappes, Henrik Singmann, Gabriele Oettingen The self-regulatory strategy of mental contrasting a desired future with obstacles of reality instigates goal-directed behavior when expectations of success are high and curbs goal-directed behavior when expectations are low (Oettingen, 2000). Two studies show that mental contrasting paired with high expectations of success creates strong associations between obstacles of reality and behavior instrumental to overcome these obstacles; mental contrasting paired with low expectations of success leads to weak associations. Reverse contrasting and irrelevant content control conditions did not produce expectancy-dependent associations between obstacle and instrumental behavior.

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Mental contrasting instigates goal-pursuit by linking obstacles of reality with instrumental behavior