When Goals Conflict But People Prosper: The Case of Dispositional Optimism.

TitleWhen Goals Conflict But People Prosper: The Case of Dispositional Optimism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
JournalJournal of research in personality
Volume40
Issue5
Pagination675-693
ISSN0092-6566
Abstract

Optimistic persistence in pursuing goals may have beneficial consequences such as protection against negative affect and greater likelihood of goal attainment, but persistence can also result in greater likelihood of goal conflict, which can have negative consequences. Two studies, one cross-sectional (N = 100) and one longitudinal (N = 77), found that optimism associated with higher goal conflict. However, objectively rated goal conflict did not significantly undermine adjustment, and when balance among goal value, expectancy, and conflict was considered, optimism associated with better balance. In turn, balance accounted for part of optimists' better goal progress over the course of a semester. Although goal conflict may have costs, these costs appear to be offset by accompanying benefits, particularly for optimists.

DOI10.1016/j.jrp.2005.08.001
Short TitleJ Res Pers
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