The object of my protection: Shielding fundamental motives from the implicit motivational influence of others
Goal shielding theory suggests that one's focal pursuits automatically inhibit the activation of interfering goals (Shah, Friedman, & Kruglanski, 2002); however, it is not entirely clear how individuals come to identify what constitutes "interfering". Three studies examine how this identification process may be guided by fundamental social motives that individuals possess, particularly in social situations wherein goals are primed through mere exposure to others' goal-directed behavior ("goal contagion", Aarts, Gollwitzer, & Hassin, 2004). Participants' fundamental motives for positive self-regard (Study 1), autonomy (Study 2), and distinctiveness (Study 3) were either manipulated or measured and participants read scenarios that manipulated the goal-directed behavior of a target other. Results indicated that participants inhibited the activation of goals being primed by others when the implicit influence interfered with their fundamental motives in some way. These findings suggest that fundamental motives can guide whether individuals will catch goals from others or shield themselves from such influences. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Leander, NP; Shah, JY; Chartrand, TL
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)