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Unconflicted goal striving - Goal ambivalence as a mediator between goal self-concordance and well-being

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2014
Author Koletzko S. H. Herrmann M. & Brandstätter V.,
Project Should I stop or Should I Go? Determinants and Consequences of an Action Crisis as a Critical Phase in Goal Striving
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume (Issue) 41(1)
Page(s) 140 - 156
Title of proceedings Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin


This research introduces low goal ambivalence as a relevant correlate of goal self-concordance (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). In three studies, we tested the hypothesis that university freshmen’s ambivalence toward the goal of completing their degree mediates goal self-concordance’s effect on subjective well-being. In Studies 1 and 2, differences in goal ambivalence accounted for effects of goal self-concordance on concurrent life satisfaction and affect at the end of the freshman year. Study 3 evidenced a longitudinal mediation effect of goal ambivalence on one-year post-entry increases in life and study satisfaction, which were explained through perceptions of goal progress at the end of the freshman year. Decomposing self-concordance into autonomous and controlled motivation revealed non-redundant parallel effects for both subcomponents. These results point to ambivalence as a significant experience in goal pursuit and suggest that it represents an additional explanatory variable in the self-concordance model of goal striving and longitudinal well-being.