Motivating the Academic Mind: High-Level Construal of Academic Goals Enhances Goal Meaningfulness, Motivation, and Self-Concordance

How one thinks about or conceptualizes a goal has important consequences for the motivational features of goal pursuit. Two experiments tested the hypothesis, inspired by work on meaning in life, action identification theory, and expectancy-value theory, that high-level construal of an academic goal should enhance motivation to pursue that goal. In each experiment, we manipulated high-level versus low-level construal of an academic goal and assessed several variables related to the goal: the perceived meaningfulness of the goal, motivation to pursue the goal, and goal self-concordance. Supporting the hypothesis, individuals who thought about their academic goal in a high-level manner viewed their goal as more meaningful, reported being more motivated to pursue the goal, and reported the goal to be more self-concordant. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Reference Information

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Method(s) Used in Paper

How vs. Why Mindset Manipulation

by Antonio Freitas, Peter Gollwitzer, and Yaacov Trope.
Published in "Journal of Experimental Social Psychology" in 2004.

APA-Format Citation

Davis, W. E., Kelley, N. J., Kim, J., Tang, D., & Hicks, J. A. (2016). Motivating the academic mind: High-level construal of academic goals enhances goal meaningfulness, motivation, and self-concordance. Motivation and Emotion, 40(2), 193-202.