Anticipated temporal landmarks undermine motivation for continued goal pursuit

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-157
Number of pages16
Journal / PublicationOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume161
Online published16 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Temporal landmarks, especially those that signal new beginnings, have been shown to spur goal initiation. We draw attention to a dark side of temporal landmarks by examining the effects of anticipated temporal landmarks on motivation to persist in an ongoing goal. Across an archival study and four experiments, we find that when an upcoming temporal landmark becomes salient and signals a new beginning, individuals perceive their current and future selves as two separate agents and optimistically believe that their future self will take the responsibility, which licenses them to exert less effort toward their ongoing goals in the present. However, individuals who reduce effort in anticipation of a temporal landmark may not work harder to compensate for the lost progress after the landmark. This detrimental effect of anticipated temporal landmarks is mitigated when individuals are reminded of everyday activities they consistently do to meet their goal.

Research Area(s)

  • Current self, Future self, Goal pursuit, Optimistic belief, Responsibility shift, Temporal landmark

Citation Format(s)

Anticipated temporal landmarks undermine motivation for continued goal pursuit. / Koo, Minjung; Dai, Hengchen; Mai, Ke Michael et al.

In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 161, 11.2020, p. 142-157.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review