Goal setting is a proven tool for generating motivation. Having been studied extensively for the past 50 years, much is known on how to maximize the tool’s usefulness. Properly set goals have been shown to increase performance on well over 100 different tasks involving more than 40,000 participants in at least eight countries working in […]

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The below is a small sampling of the research on goal setting, in chronological order.   1974 Improving Job Performance Through Training in Goal Setting 20 tree logging operators were randomly assigned to either a 1-day training program in goal setting or a control group. The additional wood cut over the following 3 months by […]

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Until 2001, when this study was published, goals were divided into three types: mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance: Mastery Performance-Approach Performance-Avoidance I will score higher than last time. I will score the highest in my class. I will avoid scoring worse than my classmates. I will exercise three times a week. I will look sexy by […]

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Goals can be classified into many different dimensions. One of the most popular models is the 2×2, approach vs. avoidance vs. mastery vs. performance model: Approach Avoidance Mastery Mastery-Approach Mastery-Avoidance Performance Performance-Approach Performance-Avoidance   To better understand what each of these dimensions mean, you can read this page on goal setting or this study which first […]

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In an attempt to feel better after experiencing negative emotion, different people use different strategies. Some talk about their problems with others, other try to distract themselves from thinking those negative thoughts, others try to find something positive from the experience. There are two strategies which people can use on their own, without help from […]

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What goal types are most effective for encouraging performance and happiness in children? In this study, two personality variables and three experimental conditions were investigated. Those with a high motive to achieve success performed better and reported higher satisfaction and happiness than those with a high motive to avoid failure. In addition, those with a […]

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