Goals and well being

Topics: Motivation / Pages: 5 (1197 words) / Published: Dec 1st, 2013
Goals and Well-Being

Do the types of goals you seek affect your well-being? It has been debated that people who pursue intrinsic goals are happier than people who pursue extrinsic goals. Intrinsic goals are defined as goals that people pursue because they make them feel more rewarded internally. Extrinsic goals are goals that people pursue because they feel pressured by society or some other factor that is externally rewarding such as making a lot of money. For example, if someone decides to exercise more often because it makes them feel healthy, that is an intrinsic goal. On the other hand, if they exercise more because they want to be more attractive to other people, that is an extrinsic goal. Self-determination theory, a motivation theory, states that it is important to discriminate between autonomous actions and controlled actions. Autonomous actions are actions that people do because they want to do them. Controlled actions are actions that people do because they feel pressured to. Self-Determination theory believes that if someone’s extrinsic goals outweigh intrinsic goals, then the person’s level of well-being will decline (Ryan & Deci, 2000). In studying goals and well-being, it is argued that it critical to look at the how important the different types of goals are to individuals. This has been done in different ways such as “having people rate the importance of all the goals being considered and then regressing a person’s overall mean for all goals from the extrinsic goals, having goals rank ordered and using the average rank of extrinsic goals, and having goals rated and then subtracting the average importance rating for intrinsic goals from the average rating for extrinsic goals” (Sheldon, Ryan, Deci, & Kasser, 2004). Past research using these methods has suggested that there is a negative correlation between pursuing extrinsic goals and well-being. Other research has suggested that pursuing intrinsic goals is related to positive well-being.

References: Martos, T., & Kopp, M. S. (2012). Life goals and well-being: Does financial status matter? Evidence from a representative Hungarian sample. Social Indicators Research, 105(3), 561-568. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9788-7 Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67. doi:10.1006/ceps.1999.1020 Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (2008). Psychological threat and extrinsic goal striving. Motivation And Emotion, 32(1), 37-45. doi:10.1007/s11031-008-9081-5 Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L., & Kasser, T. (2004). The independent effects of goal contents and motives on well-being: It 's both what you pursue and why you pursue it. Personality And Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(4), 475-486. doi:10.1177/0146167203261883 Van Hiel, A., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2009). Ambitions fulfilled? The effects of intrinsic and extrinsic goal attainment on older adults ' ego-integrity and death attitudes. The International Journal Of Aging & Human Development, 68(1), 27-51. doi:10.2190/AG.68.1.b

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