For whom the goals loom: Context-driven goal contagion
Goal contagion is a process in which perceivers inadvertently "catch" goals inferred from others' behavior; yet, social perception is often driven by the broader contexts surrounding others-and these contexts may suffice to drive goal inferences and contagion on their own. In Study 1, context-driven goal contagion occurred merely from perceiving that a peer was facing an immediate academic deadline as opposed to a distant (or no) deadline. In Study 2, this process was moderated by the potential selfrelevance of the peer's situational context. In Study 3a, context-driven goal contagion caused changes in anagram task behavior; in Study 3b, it caused changes in GRE test performance consistent with participants' GPAs. Note that these effects occurred both in the absence of any behavioral cues and when behavioral cues were held constant. Implications for the situated nature of goal contagion are discussed. © 2013 Guilford Publications, Inc.
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