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PSYC 471 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Gifted Education, Deconstruction, Meta-Analysis

Course Code
PSYC 471
Richard Koestner
Study Guide

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PSYC471 Lecture 1 September 6, 2012
Why We Fail at Our Goals and Resolutions?
-3 General Questions in the Course
-How can we reach our personal goals?
-One of the most popular components to motivational psychology
-How can we become expert at something?
-Natural talent vs. motivational factors
-How can we motivate others?
-Motivation: drive, energy and focus what people think about when they think about motivation
-When we want to achieve more motivation, we set a goal
-Three things that happen as soon as you set a goal: Universal Action Principles
1. Begin focusing attention on things related to your goal
2. Exert effort
3. Work at persistence recognize that you have to try
-Goal Setting and New Years Resolutions
-A goal, but a serious important goal trying to change something about ourselves/what we care about
-Track our progress on new years resolutions
-Many of us are aware of the fact that we failed
-Next year, set same resolution, fail again, etc.
=Real life example of goal-setting/involves a self-change attempt/likely failure
-Three most common: quit smoking/lose weight/start exercising
-Most people that succeed at quitting smoking, do it on their own
-50% of Americans make resolutions, and they usually make 2-3
-Self-esteem can take a hit
-Pathway to well-being is success in resolutions
-Vicarious goals: people that you’re close to suggest goals for you
-Norcross et al. 1990: Failure Rates for NY Resolutions
-How long do people last with their new years resolution recruited participants between Christmas/new years had TV
-Asked what resolution was/rating of their own resolution
-1/2/3 weeks, 1/3/6 months, 12/24 months
=At 12 months, 80% have failed
-1 week: 23%
-2: 34%
-3: 40%
=Almost a quarter of people failed after the first week
-People probably didn’t really think through their resolutions? Or didn’t commit to them?
=If you could make it a habit by the first month, you’re kind of OK rate at which people fails slow down
=Initial failure rate is higher than you might expect
-Marlatt, 1972: Reasons for Failure
-Forgot: 10%
-Lack of Will Power: 24%
-Deliberate Decisions: 30%
-Factors Beyond My Control: 36%
=Self Control Capacity a main focus of motivational research if we try to understand what happens, need to look at willpower/self-
-1996: Baumeister/Heatherton
-Self Control: The capacity to alter or over-ride one’s typical way of responding
-Ingredients of successful self-control:
-Standards: abstract or implicit sense of what you’re striving for/ideal is
-Most often, operationalized in terms of personal goals
-Also have to be specific and clear if we have ambiguous standards, hard to exercise self-control
-Might have conflicting goals and standards
-Monitoring: monitor behavior in relations to those goals have to assess to some degree of accuracy, whether
your effort is getting you closer to your goal
-Ambiguous goals impossible to monitor no clear standard
-Strength: critical to have self-control capacity to pursue goals and monitor behavior
-Limited resource only have so much of it, use this resource in all different domains and we can use
it up in one area that we can’t draw on for another
-Few of us recognize self-control is a limited resource and we have to be careful as to when we
should use it
-All of us are creatures of habit, do things repetitively
=When you exert self-control on one task, you will be less able to exert self-control on a subsequent task, even if it is completely
-A lot of work on goal setting organizational psychology and sport psychology
-Athletes are good at goal setting, but a common problem is that they set too many goals good enthusiasm, but need to
-Don’t frame goal in negative terms – want to frame them as something you’re approaching in a positive way
=Easier to exercise self-control as you’re moving towards something
=Approach goals > avoidance goals
-Don’t acknowledge likely failure need to have a self-efficacy/confidence/readiness about goals you’re setting
-Very likely to fail if you can’t even state your goal in an achievable way

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-SMART Goals: Dr. Phils’ Program
-Measurable correspond exactly to monitoring and standards
-Achievable something that is under your control
-Realistic capability/confidence/readiness
-People who started contemplating their resolutions in December were more likely to succeed at them
-Time-Framed long-term/distal goals: problem is that they are so far away that they’re not effective in focusing
attention/staying on track
-Suggest that you create a hierarchy and create more proximal goals as well
-Approach vs. Avoidance
-Misleading simple to list these factors, all important and helpful but there are two things that are missing
-Essential issue: self-control capacity is very limited setting a new, important goal we need to take this into account
-Be careful not to evaluate self only in terms of formally set goals
-Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans
=Can be too focused on our conscious, planned goals
PSYC471 Lecture 2 September 11, 2012
Beyond Setting SMART Goals: Exploring Why and How We Pursue Goals
-How can we overcome our self-control limitations to succeed at our personal goals?
-Motivation is about how we energize and direct our behavior
-When we’re concerned about motivation set a goal
-“Going public”
-“Getting social support”
-Universal action plan that accompanies setting a goal
-Start focusing more attention on stimuli related to goal
-Prepare ourselves to work harder/give effort
-Prepare ourselves to persevere and overcome obstacles
-New Year’s Resolutions
-Tend to fail more than anything else
-People average 6-7 attempts before they ever succeed at New Year’s Resolution
-People who quit smoking try 8-9 times before they succeed
=Almost like you have to fail before you can succeed
-Model of Self Control Failure/Success Baumeister/Heatherton
-3 Critical ingredients if you’re to succeed in exercising goals:
1. Clear and Specific Goals
2. Have to monitor behavior in relation to goal (carefully observing progress/adjusting along the way)
3. Require self-control strength in order to successfully reach new goal: need capacity/reservoir of energy to pursue goal
=Self control as a limited resource that can be depleted/used in everything
-New goals take a great deal of self-control strength
-Differences between people in terms of self-control strength probably related to brain functioning/self-control capacity
-Almost all of us are in top 10% (done well in school to get into best school in Canada requires capacity for self-control)
-Intra-individual differences: sometimes where they have greater self-control strength than other times
-Depends on how much you have to exert throughout the day
-Self control strength dissipates throughout the day
-Social Support
-Going Public
-Achievable under your control (unrequited love not a good thing)
-Realistic (or ready, self-efficacy) shouldn’t be too difficult/challenging, optimally challenging is better
(inspires/motivations you), need to feel ready having confidence in actually reaching it
-Time-framed not distal, distal goals don’t really help need to also create more proximal goals arranged in a hierarchy
toward the proximal one
-Need to approach rather than avoid
-Bandura, 1997: Goal Self-Efficacy
-Self-efficacy: beliefs about your ability to successfully perform certain actions
-Not: to self-esteem more global assessment of general worth, self-efficacy is specific to domain
-Not: actual ability doesn’t match your real ability/performance, two people who have same ability but one has high self-
efficacy, that person probably will become better at that particular skill
-Benefits of Self-Efficacy:
1. Focus your attention more effectively
2. Exert more effort
3. Optimism in face of obstacles
-Comparing to a similar person who succeeded might increase self-efficacy
-Think of a similar activity that you succeeded at as well
-Fundamental problem with limited self control capacity very difficult to actually face the fact that we’ll fail without taking into
account our limited self-control capacity
-Two Ways to Overcome Self-Control Limitations

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1. Select or develop autonomous goals correspond to interest/values/self image benefit by not having to exercise as
much self-control, not as much resistance to change
2. Support goal with implementation plans can make goal pursuit automatic/more effortless so that it drains less self-
control resources
-Sheldon, 2001: Autonomy
-The extent to which a goal reflects your developing interests and core values (versus something you feel compelled to do
by external or internal pressures)
-Autonomous reasons vs. controlled reasons measuring why we pursue a goal
-Can calculate the difference between these two reasons
-Sheldon/Houser/Marko 2001
-240 incoming college students followed for entire freshman year
-List 8 goals lasting through the end of the semester
-Autonomy measured in terms of reasons for goals
-Followed up 5 times over course of the year
1. Autonomy for goal (IV) significantly related to goal progress over first semester: r = .24
-If you make greater progress over goals, adjustment improves: pr. 30
2. Students who improved in adjustments ended up setting up more autonomous goals in second semester improve
adjustment improves autonomy
=Virtuous upward spiral
-Autonomy and goal progress: 16 students show significant positive relation of about r = .20
-More autonomous goals significantly associated with making greater progress
-Failed New Years Resolutions mostly controlled rather than autonomous
-Zelig, 1964: Six Grader Resolutions
-10 Resolutions
-Younger you are, more resolutions you write
-Examined in relation to what they think they should be writing (parents/teachers rather than students writing them)
=It’s possible that we write resolutions that are more controlled than autonomous in general, feel pressured by social constraints
-Key Questions to Consider:
-Have I reflected on why I am pursuing this goal?
-Is this goal in tune with myself?
-Can I make it in tune with myself?
-Water Bottle Story Implementation Plans
-Gollwiter/Sheeran: 2006
-Holding a goal intention does not guarantee goal achievement because people may fail to deal with self-regulatory
problems during goal striving:
-Interference from other planned and unplanned goals
-Unanticipated obstacles and distractions
-Life is chaotic/unorganized having a goal intention isn’t enough
=Implementation Plans:
-If-then plans that connect good opportunities to act with cognitive or behavioral responses that are effective in
accomplishing one’s goal
-If situation y arises, I will initiate goal-directed behavior x
-What vs. when, where, and how
-Implementation Plans and Goal Success
-94 independent studies show a significant positive effect of implementation intentions on goal-completion
-Adding an implementation plan: r = .33
-Psychiatric problems: Schizoids, heroin addicts, brain injuries especially helpful for patients with self-control handicaps or
-Not only true for self-reported progress, self report r = .32, objective report r = .34
-Works for academic/health/interpersonal goals
-Also seem to be more helpful for difficult rather than easy goals
-Art to making them:
-Allows you to pursue desirable behavior in an automatic way
=Answer of the Day:
-Select or Develop autonomous goals and augment with implementation plans
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