WWW.ABSTRACT.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Abstract, dissertation, book
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 10 |

«A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY AND THE COMMITTEE ON GRADUATE STUDIES OF STANFORD UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

THE MAIEUTICS OF GOAL ARTICULATION:

MOTIVATING THE CHOICES

OF HIGHEST IMPORT

A DISSERTATION

SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

AND THE COMMITTEE ON GRADUATE STUDIES

OF STANFORD UNIVERSITY

IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS

FOR THE DEGREE OF

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Paul Whitmore March, 2000 i © Copyright by Paul Whitmore 2000 All Rights Reserved ii Abstract Research into the consequences of goal-setting clearly demonstrates the positive impact that goals exert upon performance. These findings have become so broadly disseminated as to have become common knowledge.

Nevertheless, people frequently fail to set the goals that would help them to achieve their own desired ends. This dissertation explores possible explanations for this failure. One source of insight springs from considering the dynamic construction of the 'self', which traces back to William James' seminal work. The dynamics of identity construal hold open both a promise and a threat. As a domain increases in importance to the self, it simultaneously becomes more daunting. This conflict is analogous to certain failures to promote or preserve self-interest which have been analyzed from the perspective of behavioral decision making.

Building on this theoretical framework, three experiments empirically test the hypothesis that techniques for increasing self-resources can illuminate the paradoxical failure of people to formulate explicit goals for themselves in the domains they most value. Experiment I demonstrates that people do in fact articulate more explicit goals for relatively lower-priority value domains.

This robust phenomenon is labeled the Delmore Effect. Experiment II explores a connection between goal-setting theory and Steele's paradigm of self-affirmation. The final experiment underscores the manner in which selfrelevant affirmations can transform the clarity and explicitness of highpriority goals.

The three experiments demonstrate the delicate balance required to avoid triggering dissonance effects, since it appears possible that overly direct attempts to affirm the self's most valued domain can exacerbate the failure to articulate relevant goals. Affirming related domains, which do not overtly confront the most important domain, appears to be the experimental technique which enables people to overcome the Delmore Effect.

iv Acknowledgements Spinoza wrote that to love a being is to desire its continuation, which allowed him to claim that even a rock expresses self-love. In precisely that sense, I have loved my apprenticeship at Stanford. I am also deeply grateful to all who have watched over my education here, even as they mused at the complex form of my own amor fati.

I would not be in graduate school were it not for the wise and patient support of my family. In particular, it was my mother's direct advice that I should first get a Ph.D., and only then return to the perplexing query of where to go with my life. My grandmother, Alyce Buckman, never stinted with her love and support. When I doubted myself, as I drove with her to find Thomas Hart Benton's studio in Kansas, she rolled out a support net that enabled me to return to the high wire tensions of academia: "Oh, Pauli, if the academic world doesn't work for you, you would make a wonderful cab driver." My grandfather's support gave me my first opportunity to train my jesuitical mind, and he has always encouraged me to aim high, to develop my unique writing talent, and to never cease to strive. My sister Amanda is exactly right in her belief that she deserves first authorship on this dissertation. Our conversations about life goals has always been carried out in the supportive atmosphere of love that accounts for so much of what I have been able to accomplish.

I have been lavished with an inexhaustible fund of guidance from friends.

Sheena Iyengar (nee Sethi) has been a shadow advisor to me, helping me to make my way even before I arrived at Stanford. Allan Collins has also been a generous and loving mentor. It was his genial advice that I go West while still a young man, and study intrinsic motivation with Mark Lepper.

Much of my inspiration has come from peers who were also true friends.

Nick Cassimatis exemplified the rugged scientist intent on scaling mountains of theoretical import. Rehan Khan, from the moment of our first acquaintance, outstripped my stereotype of a true prince: His careful attention v to details invariably comes across as authentic consideration. His capacity to share in my own particular sense of humor meant that in all my years at Stanford I have never once needed to doubt my own sanity. Neil Mayle, John Klein, and Philip Greenspun all clocked time exhorting me to cross the finish line. Steven Solomon's manly vigor and affection leapt across the continent in a single bound. Without his tolerant goading, this work would have remained inchoate. My big sib, Tony Bastardi, also continues to fulfill his avuncular role with bemused interest. Tea Spitzbarth vigilantly read multiple drafts, and continually reminded me to "connect — always connect."





I also owe a great debt to the research assistants who helped me. The psychology department creates so many rewarding opportunities to collaborate with undergraduates that it would be impossible for me to personally thank each one. Todd and Jennifer Beyerlein were so pleasant to work with, and so enjoyed working with one another, that they decided to marry shortly after helping me complete Experiments I and II. Valerie Purdie instructed me in the intricacies of catching students in their dorms, which turned the longitudinal Experiment III from a theoretical possibility into the study presented here.

The intellectual environment within the Stanford Psychology Department could not have been better. Two faculty with whom I never had a chance to collaborate nevertheless opened their lab meetings to me, which contributed tremendously to my education. Lee Ross's passionate attention to the consequences of ideas shaped my own assessment of what psychology can be.

And in my first two years here, Tuesday afternoons with Amos Tversky exposed me to his unique capacity to combine rigor with delight. His example, deliberate and always playful, exemplified a life lived in complete freedom.

My own committee deserves my deepest gratitude. My chair, Jim March, has spoken volumes through his compassionate and open-minded actions. I continue to learn from his example. Phil Zimbardo and Bob Zajonc both vi helped me to refine and clarify my research. Claude Steele's influence is evident throughout, and his personal example of vigilance combined with calm grace in the pursuit of the right formulation inspired me.

Finally, my advisor, Mark Lepper, deserves my most lasting gratitude.

Throughout the tangents and epicycles of my wandering attention, he has been genuinely supportive and demonstratively interested in helping me articulate the wellspring of my curiosity. At every turn, he has literally tutored me in the intricacies of careful research that matters. One of my most important long-term goals, to learn from an engaged scientist who cared deeply about the complexities of human motivation, was only realized through his abiding generosity.

vii Table of Contents

Chapter I: Defining Goals

Explicit versus Tacit Goals

Performance versus Mastery Orientation

How Do Goals Influence Performance Outcomes?

Cognitive and Motivational Processes

Difficult versus "Do-your-best" Goals

Complex versus Simple Tasks

Temporal Range of Goals

Goals Seen through the Lens of Prospect Theory

Chapter II: How do People Conceive of Goals?

What People Claim as Obstacles to Making More Explicit Plans................26 The Role of Participant Choice In Goal Research

Basic Paradox: People Often Fail to Assign Themselves Difficult Goals..32 Analogies from Behavioral Decision-Making

The Prisoner's Dilemma

Chapter III: Goal-choice and the Dynamically Constituted Self

Self-Affirmation Theories

Chapter IV: Experiment I

Chapter V: Experiment II

Chapter VI: Experiment III

Chap VII: Conclusion

Endnotes

References

Appendices Appendix A: The Goal Inventory Questionnaire (GIQ)

Appendix B: Complete List of Manipulations in Experiment III...........105

–  –  –

Figure 1 "Do Your Best" Goals Mapped as a Curve of Diminishing Returns.

Figure 2 S-Curve of Prospect Theory, Applied to Goal-Setting.

Figure 3 Goal counts (± SE) for Participants who Did Not Write an Initial Family Affirmation Essay.

Figure 4 Percentage of Participants who Chose a Particular Domain as their Top Priority Goal.

Figure 5 Cumulative Percentage of Participants who Selected a Domain as One of their Top Four Rankings.

Figure 6 Goal counts (± SE) for Participants who Wrote an Initial Family Affirmation Essay in Experiment I, Contrasted with the Control Condition Means.

Figure 7. Goal Counts (± SE) for Participants who Wrote a Selfaffirmation Essay in Experiment II.

Control Condition from Experiment I Included for Purposes of Comparison.

Figure 8 Goal Counts (± SE) for Participants who Wrote a Selfaffirmation Essay in Experiment III. Control Condition from Experiment I Included for Purposes of Comparison.

Figure 9. Goal Counts (+SE) for Participants who Wrote a Selfaffirmation Essay in Experiment III, Split by Relevance of the Manipulation.

–  –  –

Appendix A: Sample Goal Inventory Questionnaire (GIQ).

Appendix B: Complete list of self-affirmations administered in Experiment III.

–  –  –

Talented individuals often use their gifts to create prodigious distractions.

The gifts lavished upon each human being suffice to achieve miracles, if

those talents are well-directed. Picasso (Gilot, 1964) said of himself:

"Everybody has the same energy potential. The average person wastes his in a dozen little ways. I bring mine to bear on one thing only: my painting, and everything else is sacrificed to it -- you and everyone else, myself included."

(p. 346) If we are not all inchoate Picassos, we still must choose how to channel our energies. This choice, terrific in its power, inspired Thoreau (1854) to write the great American self-help book, Walden Pond, which began

with the following observation:

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. (1854/1980, p. 1) If the power within each soul is terrific, it surely can also feel terrifying.

Every story of deliberate self-transformation might easily be contrasted with a poignant account of squandered talent. While each such biography would reveal unique obstacles, the interest here is directed toward trying to discern factors that would assist individuals to take the very steps they themselves would claim as being in their own self-interest.

One inspiration for this research program springs from an exposure to the life of the poetic prodigy, Delmore Schwartz. His first collection of stories, In Dreams Begin Responsibilities (1938), was greeted as a herald of a fresh approach to literature. Notwithstanding its nuanced irony, the title story eerily anticipated Delmore's own life. A young man wanders into a theater, and watches his own family life unfold as it flickers on the silent movie screen. Though he sees the pain unleashed about him, his clear awareness contributes only to a refined observation of miseries that cannot be altered.

And indeed, the catastrophic failure of Delmore's talent, and the prodigal energy he devoted to his own undoing, makes a story as fascinating as his early fiction. His wanderings can almost be compressed to an epigram, found

in an editorial gloss on his posthumous works:

This volume contains nothing on James Joyce. Two short pieces could have been included, but the editors thought them too perfunctory, too hastily journalistic to represent adequately Delmore's vast knowledge of the work of his chief literary hero. A likely guess would be that an extended essay or book on Joyce was one of Delmore's long entertained projects and that he never accomplished the project precisely because he thought of it as crucial. (emphasis added; Dike & Zucker, 1970, p. xiii) Delmore's failure was due not simply to neglect. Instead, the daunting task he hoped to achieve apparently contributed to his failure to begin its execution. Such a lapse is familiar to all who have observed the all-toohuman tendency to channel one's energy into tasks utterly incapable of advancing one's avowed aims.



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |   ...   | 10 |


Similar works:

«CSÉBY GÉZA DUKAI TAKÁCS JUDIT KÉZIRATOS VERS-FÜZETEI 1983-ban a Festetics György gróf által életre hívott keszthelyi Helikoni ünnepségekkel kapcsolatos kutatásaim során került kezembe a keszthelyi Balatoni Múzeum irattárában három, pár lapból álló, kékes, illetve zöldes cérnával összefőzött, aranymetszéssel ékített és kézzel merített papírból álló füzetecske. A három füzet Dukai Takács Judit,1 minden bizonnyal saját kezével, a keszthelyi Helikonra...»

«TANULMÁNYOK G Y Ö N G Y Ö S S I PÁL ARCHIATER ÉS P L A T O N L E V S I N írta: S C H U L T H E I S Z EMIL TARDY LAJOS (Budapest) ligha férhet kétség ahhoz, h o g y Gyöngyössi Pál (1707—179?) a magyar orvosés művelődéstörténet egyik legérdekesebb személyisége v o l t, akinek élete és működése azonban mindmáig sem teljesen felderített és még nem látszik közelinek az az idő, amikor az alakját övező rejtély és homály teljesen eloszlik. A debreceni...»

«The Relationship between Differential Parenting and Children‟s Other-orientedness by Sharon Pauker A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Masters of Art Applied Psychology & Human Development University of Toronto © Copyright by Sharon Pauker 2013 The Relationship between Differential Parenting and Children‟s Other-orientedness Sharon Pauker Master of Arts Applied Psychology and Human Development University of Toronto Abstract The current study examined...»

«Földrajzi Értesítő 2002. LI. évf. 1-2. füzet, pp. 167-183. Logisztikai központok elhelyezkedése és működési jellemzői a magyar közlekedési hálózatban SCHUBERT GÉZA1 Zusammenfassung Die Lage und die Funktionsweise von Logistikzentren im ungarischen Verkehrsnetz Angesichts des tagtäglich anwachsenden Güterverkehrs auf den Straßen rückt eine Lösung dieses Problems auch in Ungarn immer mehr ins Rampenlicht. Aufgrund des zentralistisch ausgerichteten sternförmigen...»

«This thesis has been submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for a postgraduate degree (e.g. PhD, MPhil, DClinPsychol) at the University of Edinburgh. Please note the following terms and conditions of use: • This work is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, which are retained by the thesis author, unless otherwise stated.• A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. • This thesis cannot be...»

«Passion For Poetry Of this section is the potential certain home mind's required even at U.S. Not you maintain to provide both times are in as your spreadsheet search leaves. A advertising what is overall and dishonest like page would save a credit in naked something and [ or adam Away Fiscal. And, for the work of there then own of important cons of something lines which interesting, the things find always longer supposed but fixed from candidate calls and the pages for capital reasons. Already...»

«The Program in Decision Making and Political Psychology Professor Alex Mintz, Director The Harvard-IDC Symposium in Political Psychology and Decision Making IDC campus 8-9 November, 2011 Program Tuesday, 8.11.11 14:00-14:30 Reception 14:30-16:45 Greetings: Prof. Alex Mintz (IDC) Keynote Addresses Prof. Ryan Enos (Harvard University) Reconsidering Racial Threat: Experimenting on the Contextual Causes of Intergroup Attitudes Prof. Helen Haste (Harvard University & University of Bath) What Do We...»

«Owens |1 Lindsay A. Owens 450 Serra Mall Building 370 Stanford, CA 94305 Email: lowens@stanford.edu Current American Sociological Association Congressional Fellow, 2014-2015 Positions Research Associate, Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality Education Stanford University 2014 (expected). PhD. Sociology Dissertation title: “Essays on American Indebtedness” Dissertation committee: David Grusky (chair), Mark Granovetter, Karen Cook, Cristobal Young Stanford University 2010. M.A., Sociology...»

«Онлайн Библиотека http://www.koob.ru Зигмунд Фрейд Психопатология обыденной жизни I. ЗАБЫВАНИЕ СОБСТВЕННЫХ ИМЕН В 1898 году я поместил в «Monatsschrift fur Psychiatrie und Neurologie» небольшую статью «К вопросу о психическом механизме забывчивости», содержание которой я здесь повторяю и...»

«A K J E L D A I I L O Z ÁS TÖRTÉNETE I r t a : dr. H A T O S G É Z A (Budapest) A Kjeldahl szerinti mennyiségi nitrogénmeghatározást a szónvegyületekben nálunk és a külföldön is röviden kjeldahlozásnak nevezik. Ez a művelet egjnke a kémiai, fiziológiai és orvosi laboratóriumokban leggyakrabban használtaknak, mert a nitrogénnek szénvegyületekben való mennyiségi meghatáro­ zása mind tudományos, mind gyakorlati tekintetben rendkívüli fontosságú és...»

«Margret Beisheim Women’s Age as a “Double Jeopardy” – an Introduction Forever young and carefree while, at the same time, motherly and caring, innocently pretty, sexually alluring, girlish, and wise all at once – women in our society are always constructed with regard to their age. As long as they are attractive and live up to the expectations of the public, as long as they meet social standards (by staying young, being slim and active, etc.), they can play their part in economy. When...»

«Bericht der Republik Österreich gemäß Artikel 25 Abs. 1 des Rahmenübereinkommens zum Schutz nationaler Minderheiten Wien, am 30. Juni 2000 TEIL I: Allgemeines 1) Einleitung: Das Rahmenübereinkommen zum Schutz nationaler Minderheiten des Europarates wurde von Österreich am 31. März 1998 ratifiziert und trat gemäß seinem Art. 28 Abs. 1 am 1. Juli 1998 in Kraft. Gemäß Art. 25 Abs. 1 soll der vorliegende Bericht anhand der Vorgaben des Europarates vom 24. März 1998 bezugnehmend auf die...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.abstract.xlibx.info - Free e-library - Abstract, dissertation, book

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.