How goal instrumentality shapes relationship evaluations.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Findings from 6 experiments support the hypothesis that relationship evaluations and behavioral tendencies are goal dependent, reflecting the instrumentality of significant others for the self's progress toward currently active goals. Experiments 1 and 3 found that active goals can automatically bring to mind significant others who are instrumental for the activated goal, heightening their accessibility relative to noninstrumental others. Experiments 2-5 found that active goals cause individuals to evaluate instrumental others more positively, draw closer to them, and approach them more readily, compared with noninstrumental others. Experiment 6 found that people who engage in goal-dependent interpersonal evaluations are more successful, receiving higher grades. Implications for understanding the social nature of self-regulation and the impact of personal goals on interpersonal relationships are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fitzsimons, GM; Shah, JY

Published Date

  • August 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 319 - 337

PubMed ID

  • 18665705

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1315

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0022-3514.95.2.319


  • eng