Gut feelings and goal pursuit: a path to self-concordance
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Two studies examined the role of gut feelings within the self-concordance model of goal pursuit (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). Using a correlational design, Study 1 found that pursuing goals based on a gut feeling is positively related to having self-concordant goals and negatively related to depressive symptoms. Study 2 employed a longitudinal experimental design in which participants were randomly assigned to either 'follow your gut" or "be very rational" in listing their current goals. Approximately 3 months later participants completed follow-up measures regarding their goals and presence of depressive symptoms. Study 2 found that the positive relationship between concordance and a host of outcome variables studied in previous research (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999; Sheldon & Houser-Marko, 2001) including goal effort, goal attainment, and well-being (as indicated by fewer depressive symptoms) is most durable when goals are based on a gut feeling. Results are interpreted as indicative of gut feelings as an internal compass towards pursuits that are most likely to be fulfilling..