A Formal, Computational Theory of Multiple-Goal Pursuit: Integrating Goal-Choice and Goal-Striving Processes

Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Justin M. Weinhardt, Aaron M. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding the processes involved when pursuing multiple goals over time is a central question for motivational theorists. A dynamic, computational model integrating theories of goal striving and goal choice is presented to account for data emerging from Schmidt and DeShon's (2007) multiple-goal-pursuit protocol. The simulated results match the results reported in their study, including the finding that relative discrepancy from the goals positively predicted resource allocation early on but negatively predicted it toward the end of the session. Variance in parameters in the model also accounted for individual differences found in the data. Discussion focuses on the theoretical contribution of formally integrating elements of self-regulation theories, further empirical work needed to test the model, and further theoretical work needed to continue the integration process exemplified here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-1008
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume95
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

Keywords

  • Computational modeling
  • Decision making
  • Dynamic self-regulation
  • Expectancy
  • Multiple goals

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