The purpose of the present investigation was to demonstrate that goal setting varies with happy/sad mood-induced states in young children. In turn, on the basis of current Goal Setting Theory, it was predicted that goal level mediates the child's subsequent performance. Young children were assigned randomly to either happy or sad mood induction states, were asked to set their own goals, and then performed the task. In light of the findings, mood state was manipulated effectively in the children, with the following result: A happy mood state produced a significantly higher goal and superior performance than a sad mood state. However, no strong evidence was provided for the notion that goal setting mediated the impact of mood induction upon performance. The developmental implication of these findings are discussed.
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Special thanks are extended to the University Child Care Center, SMSU Child Development Lab, and St. John's Hospital Employee Child Care Center for their help. Barry Arbuckle is enrolled in the graduate program of Child Development and Family Relations Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The authors are grateful to Donn Kaiser, Arden Miller, Richard Fabes, and Robert Cialdini for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.
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Hom, H.L., Arbuckle, B. Mood induction effects upon goal setting and performance in young children. Motiv Emot 12, 113–122 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992168
- Young Child
- Setting Theory
- Induction Effect
- Goal Setting
- Mood State