When the going gets tough: the "why" of goal striving matters.
Bottom Line: In Study 1, self-reported autonomous goal motives predicted goal persistence via challenge appraisals and task-based coping.In Study 2, primed autonomous (compared to controlled) goal motives predicted greater persistence, positive affect, and future interest for task engagement.The findings underscore the importance of autonomous motivation for behavioral investment in the face of increased goal difficulty.
Affiliation: University of Birmingham.Show MeSH
Mentions: We removed six participants (one had previous triathlon experience; five indicated suspicion of the prime) from all analyses, leaving data from 84 participants (43 female; Mage = 19.58 years, SDage = 1.12). Three ANOVAs revealed that participants in the three primed groups (27 autonomous, 27 controlled prime, 30 neutral) did not differ in age or in number of hours spent training or cycling per week, F(2, 81) < 1.82, p > .05, partial η2 = .04. Furthermore, a MANOVA showed that the manipulation was successful: Pillai's Δ = .78, F(4, 162) = 26.07, p < .001, partial η2 = .39 (Figure 2). Specifically, participants rated the actor as having stronger autonomous motives in the autonomous prime (M = 6.15, SD = .82) than in the controlled (M = 2.93, SD = .95) and neutral (M = 4.58, SD = 1.32) primes, F(2, 81) = 62.20, p < .001, partial η2 = .60. Conversely, participants rated the actor as having stronger controlled goal motivation in the controlled prime (M = 6.46, SD = .65) than in the autonomous (M = 2.30, SD = 1.16) and neutral (M = 3.80, SD = 1.51) primes, F(2, 81) = 86.79, p < .001, partial η2 = .68. We display these findings in Figure 2.