Everyone in our world and in our society has goals It can

Everyone in our world and in our society has goals. It can be said that our life’s are

even directed by various goals which are very personal to us (Fishbach, Friedman &

Kruglanski, 2003). Goals are described as mental representations of personal cravings for a

specific state (Freund & Hennecke, 2012). For instance, many people try to live a healthy life

and want to have a fit summer body. Therefore, they might make up a goal for which they try

to go running and stop eating sweets.

It might happen that one could not resist anymore and

started to eat a bunch of chocolate bars. One could say that this might be seen as failing to

reach their goal. Polivy and Herman (2002), argued that if people want to be able in reaching

a goal, they must be willing to change something. Apparently, people who managed to reach

their goal needed five or six tries until they actually achieved their goal (Polivy & Herman,

2002). Why do some people continue after failing to reach their goal and why do others just

give up on it? This article deals with failure linked to motivation. How do people stay

motivated to make another attempt for reaching their goal? Within this study we measure the

connection between motivation and two independent variables which are goal focus and task-


Goal focus: Outcome vs Process

What is more helpful in terms of reaching a goal: focusing on the steps that need to be

done to reach a goal or focusing on the outcome of the goal? People can approach a goal

either by focusing on short-term consequences or long-term consequences (Freund &

Hennecke, 2012). Further, outcome focus is motivating because it leads someone to a desired

end. On the other hand, process focus has a higher meaning because the desired satisfaction

would appear while reaching a certain goal. Additionally, it makes someone monitoring one’s

behaviour through which one becomes aware of what needs to be changed (Freund &

Hennecke, 2012). In terms of dieting, Freund and Hennecke (2012), found that women who


concentrated on the process which was the diet ended up being more successful than women

who concentrated on the outcome which was the desired weight loss. Contradictory, research

by Fishbach, Friedmann and Kruglanski (2003), suggests that outcome focus does play a role

in dieting as well. The women of their study were exposed to a fattening food condition

which made them recognize their goal of dieting and helped them resisting the temptation

(Fishbach, Friedmann & Kruglanski, 2003). Generally, the more personal importance a goal

has for someone the more focus people lay on the process and the outcome in order to

achieve it (Freund & Hennecke, 2012). Generally, goal focus can be related to well-being

because becoming aware of the discrepancy that there is actually some necessary action

laying between the actual state and the desired state is the first step of change (Freund &

Hennecke, 2012). Whether it is appropriate to focus on the outcome or the process of a goal

is examined by this research.

Task Aversiveness: low vs high

By including the variable task aversiveness we want to approach which type of goal focus

might be more beneficial. Task aversiveness describes whether one enjoys the tasks he is

doing. The more a task is aversive the more people would try to avoid doing the task.

Procrastination would be a consequence of that (Steel, 2007). On the other hand, the less

aversive a task is the more enjoyably it is for someone. Therefore, it could be predicted that

the people would probably prefer to engage in the task that is less aversive (Steel, 2007). In

connection to goal focus, Freund and Hennecke (2015), suggest that outcome focus can help

an individual to work towards their goal even if the person dislikes the tasks that need to be

done. Thereby, the focus lies on the desired goal to deviate someone from the less enjoyable

tasks. By shifting the focus on the process, it will be easier if the person actually enjoys the

tasks in order to achieve the goal (Freund & Hennecke, 2015). If someone enjoys the tasks he

is doing, it would make sense that one’s motivation will increase. On the other side, the more


important the outcome of a goal is for someone the more motivation might arise in that

person as well. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how task aversiveness and goal focus

interact with each other in order to increase motivation to achieve a desired goal.

The Present Research

In the present research we are evaluating how people decide to either continue working on a

desired goal or giving it up, especially if they already failed once. Therefore, we use

motivation as our dependent variable and try to measure how motivation can be increased. In

order to fulfil this burden, we take two independent variables into account from which we

think that they can have an input on one’s motivation. As already described in latter

paragraphs these variables are goal focus and task aversiveness.

Freund and Hennecke (2015), argued that process focus might increase someone’s

motivation to continue working on a goal which had already failed because people are able to

monitor their behaviour and thus, they are able to change something. However, outcome

focus can force one to lay attention on the desired end which can be useful if the steps that

need to be taken are unenjoyable. Task aversiveness describes whether someone likes the

tasks he is doing or not. Expectantly, if task aversiveness is low and people enjoy what they

are doing, they will probably be motivated when focussing on the process (Freund &

Hennecke, 2015). Otherwise, when people do not enjoy the tasks they are doing, they are

high in task aversiveness and would tend to avoid the tasks that need to be done (Steel, 2007).

Therefore, Freund and Hennecke (2015), suggest that outcome focus is motivating if the tasks

that need to be done are not enjoyable for the person because they then lay their attention on

the desired consequence of the goal.

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Everyone in our world and in our society has goals It can. (2019, Nov 16). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/everyone-in-our-world-and-in-our-society-has-goals-it-can-best-essay/

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