Project

Back to overview

Should I stop or Should I Go? Determinants and Consequences of an Action Crisis as a Critical Phase in Goal Striving

English title Should I Stop or Should I Go? Determinants and Consequences of an Action Crisis as a Critical Phase in Goal Striving
Applicant Brandstätter Veronika
Number 130131
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Psychologisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.11.2010 - 31.12.2014
Approved amount 195'744.00
Show all

Keywords (7)

motivation; goal disengagement; incentives; Goals; Disengagement; Self-Regulation; Rumination

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Persistence in pursuing one's personal goals and disengagement from goals are core aspects of successful goal striving. Failure to disengage from unpromising goals puts an individual's psychological and physical well-being at risk. Nonetheless, disengagement from goals is still a comparatively unexplored issue in research on goal striving. The aim of the present research is to contribute to this research by scrutinizing a critical phase during goal striving when goal disengagement becomes an issue, which we call an action crisis - that is when the individual is confronted with repeated setbacks and starts asking him/herself whether to stop or to go on. Our research is related to theorizing on entrapment as advanced in social and organisational psychology as well as to research on adaptive mechanisms when confronted with worsening prospects for goal achievement in the realm of life-span psychology. We aim to analyse determinants and consequences of an action crisis in everyday life as well as in laboratory settings. More specifically, we will look at cognitive and affective consequences of an action crisis, and will especially clarify the role of goal related incentives in the regulation of goal directed behaviour when confronted with repeated setbacks. As a first step, we will conduct exploratory studies to gain insight into prevalence, course and temporal characteristics of an action crisis. Variables predictive of the intensity and course of an action crisis will be used in further correlative and experimental field and laboratory studies testing our hypotheses. With respect to determinants, we hypothesise that motive-goal incongruence is not the only but an especially important predictor of action crises. With respect to the consequences of action crises we predict that participants in an action crisis will deliberate more on goal-related incentives, and will report lower psychological and physical well-being than participants not experiencing an action crisis. Finally, we will test a cognitive intervention to change the subjective experience of an action crisis. Our project contributes to the literature on goal disengagement and self-regulation but is also intended to deliver insights of practical relevance in the realm of health psychology, clinical counselling, and vocational counselling.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Being in two minds: The neural basis of experiencing action crises in personal long-term goals
Herrmann M. Baur V. Brandstätter V. Hänggi J. & Jäncke L. (2014), Being in two minds: The neural basis of experiencing action crises in personal long-term goals, in Social Neuroscience, 9(6), 548-561.
Die Handlungskrise
Brandstätter V. & Herrmann M. (2014), Die Handlungskrise, in M. Storch & F. Krause (ed.), 102-110.
Unconflicted goal striving - Goal ambivalence as a mediator between goal self-concordance and well-being
Koletzko S. H. Herrmann M. & Brandstätter V. (2014), Unconflicted goal striving - Goal ambivalence as a mediator between goal self-concordance and well-being, in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(1), 140-156.
Action Crisis and Cost-Benefit Thinking: A Cognitive Analysis of a Goal-Disengagement Phase
Brandstätter V. & Schüler J. (2013), Action Crisis and Cost-Benefit Thinking: A Cognitive Analysis of a Goal-Disengagement Phase, in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 543-553.
Overcoming action crises in personal goals – Longitudinal evidence on a mediating mechanism between action orientation and well-being
Herrmann M. & Brandstätter V. (2013), Overcoming action crises in personal goals – Longitudinal evidence on a mediating mechanism between action orientation and well-being, in Journal of Research in Personality, 47(6), 881-893.
The struggle of giving up personal goals: Affective, physiological, and cognitive consequences of an action crisis
Brandstätter V. Herrmann M. & Schüler J. (2013), The struggle of giving up personal goals: Affective, physiological, and cognitive consequences of an action crisis, in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(12), 1668-1682.
Goal disengagement and action crises
Brandstätter V. & Herrmann M., Goal disengagement and action crises, in N. Baumann T. Goschke M. Kazén S. L. Koole & M. Quirin (ed.), Springer, Berlin.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Lehrstuhl für Neuropsychologie, Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Sozialpsychologie, Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Centre for Research in Human Development, Concordia University Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Professur für Biologische Psychologie und Gesundheitspsychologie, Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
49th Conference of the German Society of Psychology (DGPs) Talk given at a conference Wenn die Zielablösung zum Thema wird: Bedingungen und Konsequenzen einer Handlungskrise bei persönlichen Zielen 24.09.2014 Bochum, Germany Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
49th conference of the German Society of Psychology (DGPs) Talk given at a conference Wenn die Zielablösung zum Thema wird: Bedingungen und Konsequenzen einer Handlungskrise bei persönlichen Zielen 24.09.2014 Bochum, Germany Herrmann Marcel; Brandstätter Veronika;
49th Convention of the German Psychological Society (DGPs) Poster Die Handlungskrise als kritische Phase im Zielstreben: Auswirkungen auf die Leistung 23.09.2014 Bochum, Germany Brandstätter Veronika;
34th Colloquium of the Psychology of Motivation Talk given at a conference Die Handlungskrise – Eine funktionale Perspektive auf das Spannungsfeld zwischen Motivation und Volition 04.09.2014 Trier, Germany Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
4th Munich Symposium on Motivation (MSM) Talk given at a conference The action crisis – A functional perspective on the area of tension between motivation and volition 17.07.2014 Grainau, Germany Herrmann Marcel; Brandstätter Veronika;
17th European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) Preconference on Self-Regulation of Threat Talk given at a conference Action crises: When giving up a goal poses a threat to the self 08.07.2014 Amsterdam, Netherlands Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Poster Performance effects of an action crisis as a critical phase in goal striving 23.05.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Brandstätter Veronika;
7th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Motivation (SSM) Poster Self-affirmation improves performance in an action crisis 22.05.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Brandstätter Veronika;
Invited presentation at the Chair of Human Resource Management at the Institute for Leadership and Human Resource Management, University of St.Gallen Individual talk Die Handlungskrise – Im Spannungsfeld zwischen Motivation und Volition 12.03.2014 St. Gallen, Switzerland Herrmann Marcel;
33rd Colloquium of the Psychology of Motivation Poster Zielverfolgung mit Hindernissen: Zurück in die planende Bewusstseinslage durch Selbstbestätigung? 27.07.2013 Osnabrück, Germany Brandstätter Veronika;
33rd Colloquium of the Psychology of Motivation Talk given at a conference Ein Krisenbericht – Antezedenzien, Mechanismen und Konsequenzen einer Handlungskrise (im Zielstreben) 27.07.2013 Osnabrück, Germany Herrmann Marcel; Brandstätter Veronika;
25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Talk given at a conference Should I stop or should I go? Antecedents, mediating mechanisms, and consequences of an action crisis as a critical phase related to goal disengagement 26.05.2013 Washington, DC, United States of America Herrmann Marcel; Brandstätter Veronika;
25th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Poster Goal ambivalence attenuates the positive effect of goal self-concordance on life satisfaction 24.05.2013 Washington, DC, United States of America Herrmann Marcel; Brandstätter Veronika;
Invited talk at the inaugural symposium of the DFG research unit "Psychoeconomics", Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany Individual talk Should I stop or should I go? Cognitive, affective, and physiological correlates of an action crisis as a critical phase in goal striving 23.11.2012 Friedrichshafen, Germany Brandstätter Veronika;
48th conference of the German Society of Psychology (DGPs), Bielefeld, Germany Talk given at a conference Der steinige Pfad der Zielablösung – Handlungskrise als neuer Ansatz zur Erforschung der Ablösung von persönlichen Zielen 27.09.2012 Bielefeld, Germany Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
32nd Colloquium of the Psychology of Motivation, Halle, Germany Talk given at a conference Die Handlungskrise: Kognitive und neuronale Charakteristika einer motivationalen Phase im Zielstreben 04.09.2012 Halle/Saale, Germany Herrmann Marcel; Brandstätter Veronika;
Invited talk at the Colloqium of the Social Psychology at University of Basel, Switzerland Individual talk Handlungskrise als kritische Phase des Zielstrebens zwischen Engagement und Zielablösung: Kognitive, affektive und physiologische Korrelate 10.05.2012 Basel, Switzerland Brandstätter Veronika;
12th Congress of the Swiss Society of Psychology (SSP) Poster What mediates the relationship between self-regulatory abilities and well-being? Action orientation lowers the risk of an action crisis (in goal-striving) 12.09.2011 Fribourg, Switzerland Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
31st Colloquium of the Psychology of Motivation Poster Was mediiert den Zusammenhang zwischen selbstregulatorischen Fähigkeiten und Wohlbefinden? Handlungsorientierung senkt das Risiko für Handlungskrisen (im Zielstreben) 25.07.2011 München, Germany Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
23rd Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Talk given at a conference Antecedents and consequences of an action crisis 27.05.2011 Washington, DC; USA, United States of America Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;
4th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Motivation (SSM) Poster What mediates the relationship between self-regulatory abilities and well-being? Action orientation lowers the risk of an action crisis (in goal-striving) 26.05.2011 Washington, DC; USA, United States of America Brandstätter Veronika; Herrmann Marcel;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Symposium auf APS-Tagung "When Giving Up is Better Than Persisting: Goal Disengagement in the Light of Life-Span Psychology and Self-Regulation Theories" 25.05.2013 Washington, DC, United States of America
Symposium auf APS-Tagung "Should I Go or Should I Stop? Escalation of Commitment and Goal Disengagement- A Look from Two Perspectives" 27.05.2011 Washington, DC; USA, United States of America

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
159389 A Closer Look at the Area of Tension Between Motivation and Volition - The Cognitive and Behavioral Consequences of an Action Crisis and Intervention Strategies 01.10.2015 Project funding
159389 A Closer Look at the Area of Tension Between Motivation and Volition - The Cognitive and Behavioral Consequences of an Action Crisis and Intervention Strategies 01.10.2015 Project funding

Abstract

Persistence in pursuing one’s personal goals and disengagement from goals are core aspects of successful goal striving. Failure to disengage from unpromising goals puts an individual’s psychological and physical well-being at risk (Brand-stätter, 2003; Brandtstädter, 2007; Wrosch, Scheier, Carver & Schulz, 2003). Nonetheless, disengagement from goals is still a comparatively unexplored issue in research on goal striving. The aim of the present research is to contribute to this research by scrutinizing a critical phase during goal striving when goal disengagement becomes an issue, which we call an action crisis - that is when the individual is confronted with repeated setbacks and starts asking him/herself whether to stop or to go on. Our research is related to theorizing on entrapment as advanced in social and organisational psychology (Brockner, 1992; Staw, 1997) as well as to research on adaptive mechanisms when confronted with worsen-ing prospects for goal achievement in the realm of life-span psychology (Brandtstädter, 2007; Wrosch et al., 2003). We aim to analyse determinants and consequences of an action crisis in everyday life as well as in laboratory settings. More specifically, we will look at cognitive and affective consequences of an action crisis, and will especially clarify the role of goal related incentives in the regulation of goal directed behaviour when confronted with repeated setbacks. As a first step, we will conduct two exploratory studies to gain insight into prevalence, course and temporal characteristics of an action crisis. Variables predictive of the intensity and course of an action crisis will be used in further correlative and experimental field and laboratory studies. In seven studies, we will then test our hypotheses. With respect to determi-nants, we hypothesise that motive-goal incongruence is not the only but an especially important predictor of action crises. With respect to the consequences of action crises we predict that participants in an action crisis will deliberate more on goal-related incentives, and will report lower psychological and physical well-being than participants not ex-periencing an action crisis. Finally, we will test a cognitive intervention to change the subjective experience of an action crisis. Our project is also intended to deliver insights of high practical relevance in the realm of health psychology, clinical counselling, and vocational counselling.
-