The "existential challenge" : a new tool for enhancing goal attainment
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] We developed a novel goal intervention -- the existential challenge -- in an effort to help individuals achieve better goal outcomes and we also asked if certain factors may lead individuals to accept the challenge. Across four studies, we found that accepting the existential challenge is associated with higher goal expectancy, higher intended effort, and more goal autonomy; and longitudinal evidence suggests that accepting the existential challenge is associated with more goal progress and effort. In addition, we found that growth-orientation predicts higher acceptance of the challenge. In a fourth study, we sought to assess whether merely contemplating the existential challenge leads to more beneficial goal choice. While we did not find evidence to support this hypothesis, converging evidence across our studies suggest that the existential challenge is associated with positive goal outcomes.
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