When the going gets tough: the "why" of goal striving matters

Ntoumanis, N., Healy, L.C. ORCID: 0000-0003-1372-7308, Sedikides, C., Duda, J., Stewart, B., Smith, A. and Bond, J., 2014. When the going gets tough: the "why" of goal striving matters. Journal of Personality, 82 (3), pp. 225-236. ISSN 0022-3506

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Objective: No prior research has examined how motivation for goal striving influences persistence in the face of increasing goal difficulty. This research examined the role of self-reported (Study 1) and primed (Study 2) autonomous and controlled motives in predicting objectively-assessed persistence during the pursuit of an increasingly difficult goal.
Method: In Study 1, 100 British athletes (64 males; Mage = 19.89 years, SDage = 2.43) pursued a goal of increasing difficulty on a cycle-ergometer. In Study 2, 90 British athletes (43 males; Mage = 19.63 years, SDage = 1.14) engaged in the same task, but their motivation was primed by asking them to observe a video of an actor describing her/his involvement in an unrelated study.
Results: In Study 1 self-reported autonomous goal motives predicted goal persistence via challenge appraisals and task-based coping. In contrast, controlled goal motives predicted threat appraisals and disengagement coping which, in turn, was a negative predictor of persistence. In Study 2 primed autonomous (compared to controlled) goal motives predicted greater persistence, positive affect, and future interest for task engagement.
Conclusions: The findings underscore the importance of autonomous motivation for behavioral investment in the face of increased goal difficulty.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Personality
Creators: Ntoumanis, N., Healy, L.C., Sedikides, C., Duda, J., Stewart, B., Smith, A. and Bond, J.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Date: 2014
Volume: 82
Number: 3
ISSN: 0022-3506
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 26 Sep 2017 11:02
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2017 11:02
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31692

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