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Vicarious goal satiation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date05/2011
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Journal number3
Volume47
Number of pages4
Pages685-688
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A signature feature of self-regulation is that once a goal is satiated, it becomes deactivated, thereby allowing people to engage in new pursuits. The present experiments provide evidence for vicarious goal satiation, a novel phenomenon in which individuals experience "post-completion goal satiation" as a result of unwittingly taking on another person's goal pursuit and witnessing its completion. In Experiments 1 and 2, the observation of a goal being completed (vs. not completed) led to less striving by the observer on the same task. Given that an actor's strength of commitment affects goal contagion, we hypothesized that such commitment would be an important boundary condition for vicarious goal satiation. The results of Experiment 2 showed that observing stronger (vs. weaker) goal commitment lowered accessibility of goal-related words, but only when the goal being observed was completed. Implications of vicarious goal satiation for goal pursuit in everyday environments are discussed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.