Proximal goal-setting and self-regulatory processes
- Cite this article as:
- Stock, J. & Cervone, D. Cogn Ther Res (1990) 14: 483. doi:10.1007/BF01172969
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Despite much theoretical discussion, relatively little research has examined the motivational effects of proximal goal-setting, and existing findings are inconsistent. This experiment examines the effects of proximal subgoals on perceived self-efficacy, self-evaluative reactions to performance, and task persistence. Subjects performed a complex problem-solving task under conditions involving either no subgoal, an attainable subgoal, or an unattainable subgoal. The self-regulatory processes were assessed prior to and during performance. Setting a subgoal boosted initial perceived self-efficacy. Attaining the proximal goal increased self-efficacy perceptions, self-satisfaction with performance, and subsequent task persistence. Changes in perceived self-efficacy mediated the effects of subgoal attainment on behavior.