The relationship between implicit and explicit motives, goal pursuit, and autobiographical memory content during a diary study

M. Bender, B.A. Woike, C. Burke, E.A.A. Dow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This online diary study investigated how motives interact with goal pursuit to predict daily autobiographical experiences. Participants (N = 141) completed measures of implicit and explicit achievement, provided daily memories and reports of their goal pursuit during a 3-week diary period. A stronger implicit achievement motive at the onset of the study was associated with more agentic (and fewer communal) autobiographical content. Goal progress was linked with using more agentic words, while goal attainability was related to using more communal words. Interactions between motives and goal pursuit on autobiographical memory suggests a trade-off: Favorable goal pursuit conditions may prompt people not motivated for achievement to shift their focus from agentic to communal themes, while individuals motivated for achievement maintain their priorities.
    Highlights
    ► Online diary study on motivation, goal characteristics and autobiographical memory.
    ► Implicit achievement related to more agentic (fewer communal) words in diary memories.
    ► Goal progress related to more agentic, goal attainability to more communal words.
    ► People low in achievement: room for social topics under favorable goal conditions.
    ► People high in achievement: focus on goal pursuit irrespective of goal conditions.
    Keywords: Autobiographical memory, Implicit motives, Explicit motives, Motive congruence, Diary study, Goal characteristics, LIWC
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)374-383
    JournalJournal of Research in Personality
    Volume46
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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