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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goals: Their Structure and Relationship to Well-Being in German and U.S. College Students

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Abstract

Aspirations for intrinsic (e.g.,self-acceptance, affiliation, community feeling)versus extrinsic (e.g., financial success, appearance,social recognition) goals were examined in German andU.S. college students. The structure of students’goal-systems in terms of goal content was remarkablysimilar in the two cultures, as evidenced byexamination of the ordering of goals. Also, as inpast work in the U.S., German college students whowere especially focused on intrinsic goals had highwell-being, whereas the reverse was true for a focuson extrinsic goals. Some differences between thecultures in terms of specific goals are alsodiscussed.

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Schmuck, P., Kasser, T. & Ryan, R.M. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goals: Their Structure and Relationship to Well-Being in German and U.S. College Students. Social Indicators Research 50, 225–241 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007084005278

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