Lecture 21: 2013/03/28
Questions of the day:
1) What problems do we face in selecting personal goals?
- Not good at anticipating what makes us happy/sad
- Many of the goals we have are related to extrinsic goals (Focus on these things are maladaptive)
- Possible to pursue goals that does not match our motives
2) How can we tell whether our personal goals actually fit who we are?
Source from Ken Sheldon “Becoming Oneself” 2013
The Secret to Getting What You Want in Life
- 2006 Self-Help book 19 million copies; The Law of Attraction
- Each of us like transmission tower, if we have thought about what we want in life, if we have this
thoughts frequently, if they become focused and if we also work on feeling confident that we are going
to get this in our life, our transmission tower sends waves out and will attract what we are thinking
about. Suddenly, we become wealthy, beautiful and popular
Approaches to measuring personalized goals
- What are you working toward?
Measuring Personal Strivings - Personal strivings are not goal in the sense of where you make list of what you are going to do today
Do we know what will make us happy?
- Good evidence from social cognition that human beings are poor at forecasting how they will feel in
the future. (Poor at affective forecasting)
- We are wrong about intensity and duration of emotion
- Research on the half-life of our purchases
- We also often wrong about negative events in our life
- How can we use personal goals to guide our future if we can’t even predict what kinds of things will
make happy and how long things will make happy?
Do we know where our goals come from?
- Materialistic aspirations VS more fundamental human aspirations
- The Dark Side of the American Dream, Tim Kasser
Kasser’s Framework (2002)
- 2 broad classes of aspirations distinguished on basis of content
Extrinsic aspirations depend on contingent reaction of others and are typically engaged in as a
means to an end
Where do extrinsic aspirations come from? Why are so many of us think about wealth,
attractiveness and popularity?
We live in consumer culture.
Intrinsic aspirations are expressive of natural growth tendencies and are likely to satisfy basic
- Orienting towards these extrinsic aspirations will take our attention away from intrinsic aspirations that
we naturally pursue and make us fulfilling in meaningful way. Example of Aspirations Index
- People who have extrinsic goals have lower subjective well-being than who have intrinsic goals
- People have goals from both categories, however, it is about balance between them
Do our goals math our motives?
- Brunstein 1998
- Well-being as a function of whether we make progress on goals that match our implicit motives
Do our goals make developmental sense?
- Do they match our psychosocial stage?
E.g., identity, intimacy, generativity, for 20,30,40 years olds
- If I list my goals, what you want to see is out of 10 goals 3-4 are about identity.
- It’s important not to neglect identity and intimacy goals that are key things you want to work on during
20s Goals throughout life span, Heckhausen et al 2010
- Most people have a sense of being actively involved in shaping their lives. They follow developmental
paths that are coherent in terms of identifying and effectively pursuing long