The Pursuit of Self-Defining Goals

  • Peter M. Gollwitzer
  • Robert A. Wicklund
Part of the SSSP Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


The cognition-behavior relation central here is the human pursuit of self-definitions. The striving after such self-definitions as child-rearer, parent, musician, or humanitarian is treated as a goal-oriented enterprise, such that the cognized goal (e. g., to be a humanitarian) brings forth numerous behaviors directed toward the individual’s trying to realize that self-defining goal. In the course of spelling out some of the dynamics of self-completion processes, we will show how the pursuit of self-completion has the side-effect of interfering with a variety of other types of cognition-behavior relations. For example, the relation between attitude and behavior, between intention and behavior, and even that between situational cues for behavior and actual behavior can all suffer demise or even elimination owing to the person’s pursuit of a self-defining goal.


Social Reality Attitude Object Target Person Personality Feedback Ideal Profile 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Gollwitzer
  • Robert A. Wicklund

There are no affiliations available

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