Goals and responses to failure: Knowing when to hold them and when to fold them

Lench, Heather C.; Levine, Linda J.
June 2008
Motivation & Emotion;Jun2008, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p127
Academic Journal
The ability to disengage from hopeless situations is critical to goal attainment and effective self-regulation. Two experiments investigated the effects of striving to attain success (approach goals) versus striving to avoid failure (avoidance goals) on persistence. Participants completed anagrams designed so that less persistence during an initial set of unsolvable anagrams was beneficial. In Study 1, participants reported how motivated they were by approach and avoidance goals. In Study 2, participants were primed to set approach or avoidance goals. Participants with avoidance goals persisted longer during failure, with more intense and enduring emotional distress, than those with approach goals. Greater anger predicted spending more time on subsequent unsolvable anagrams and accounted for differences in persistence. The results suggest that people with approach goals are better able to identify when they should disengage during failure, and disengage more completely, than people with avoidance goals.


Related Articles

  • What's Your Passion? Anderson, Nancy // Personal Excellence Essentials;Sep2006, Vol. 11 Issue 9, p12 

    The article enumerates ways on how find personal passion. The clues include doing the work even for free, sharp focus on mastery, becoming a better person while doing the work and unawareness of the passing of time. Likewise, there are signs when one is already skewing from his passion. It...

  • Achieve Your Goals. Aursnes, Ingunn // Personal Excellence Essentials;Jun2009, Vol. 14 Issue 6, p11 

    The article discusses several strategies to deal with barriers in achieving goals. One is advised to set goals that have an emotional value and write them and the reasons for wanting to achieve them. Taking steps one at a time is suggested and success must be redefined as the process of reaching...

  • Achievement motives and emotional processes in children during problem-solving: Two experimental studies of their relation to performance in different achievement goal conditions. Bj�rnebekk, Gunnar; Gjesme, Torgrim; Ulriksen, Robin // Motivation & Emotion;Dec2011, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p351 

    In two studies, the influence of key emotional and motivational factors on performance in different achievement goal-type situations is examined. In study 1, based on 314 sixth-graders, two types of goal situations were induced; performance and mastery. The goals were examined with respect to...

  • Using the 2×2 framework of achievement goals to predict achievement emotions and academic performance. Putwain, David W.; Sander, Paul; Larkin, Derek // Learning & Individual Differences;Jun2013, Vol. 25, p80 

    Abstract: Previous work has established how achievement emotions are related to the trichotomous model of achievement goals, and how they predict academic performance. In our study we examine relations using an additional, mastery-avoidance goal, and whether outcome-focused emotions are...

  • Stand out from the crowd. Keyes, Steve // Nursing Standard;9/20/2006, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p64 

    The article reflects on the author's view on achieving the best for one's career. The author emphasizes that true success comes when a person ables to apply certain experiences throughout his career. He suggests one should know how to control his career when he thinks his talents and passions...

  • Study finds two factors may reduce SA treatment dropouts.  // Behavioral Health Accreditation & Accountability Alert;Sep2002, Vol. 7 Issue 9, p5 

    Discusses research being done on the management of negative emotions. Reference to study by Carolyn Kohn et al published in the August 2002 issue of 'Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research'; Activities for patients that do not involve the use of alcohol and drugs; Examples of avoidance...

  • Take Charge of Your Life. Samuel, Mark; Chiche, Sophie // Massage & Bodywork;Jun/Jul2005 Supplement, Vol. 20, p15 

    The article presents guidelines on how a person can transform from being a victim to an achiever. The individual should create a clear intention and set goals to improve his/her life. He/she should also picture what success looks like. Lastly, the individual should be accountable for all his/her...

  • First and 10. Lauer, Charles S. // Modern Healthcare;7/30/2007, Vol. 37 Issue 30, p36 

    The article offers tips on achieving one's goals or ambitions. One approach is to use anger in a positive way to get results. Of course, one have to have a vision of what he or she wants in life. For that, one need to know himself or herself which takes some thought, some introspection. The...

  • Smart Planning. Vermeeren, Douglas // Personal Excellence Essentials;Jun2008, Vol. 13 Issue 6, p9 

    The article presents tips on how people can plan for their future. It notes that people can only attain success by setting a plan and a commitment to follow it. It adds that details in the goal plans do not rely on what can be listed on paper but on what can be created in the mind. The...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics