Publication

The dynamics of doubt: Short-term fluctuations and predictors of doubts in personal goal pursuit

Journal Paper/Review - Jan 1, 2021

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Citation
Ghassemi Tabrizi M, Wolf B, Bettschart M, Kreibich A, Herrmann M, Brandst├Ątter V. The dynamics of doubt: Short-term fluctuations and predictors of doubts in personal goal pursuit. Motivation Science 2021; 7:153-164.
Type
Journal Paper/Review (English)
Journal
Motivation Science 2021; 7
Publication Date
Jan 1, 2021
Pages
153-164
Brief description/objective

An action crisis denotes an intrapsychic conflict in which a person feels torn between holding on to and letting go of a personal goal. It is characterized by the experience of goal-related doubts. To extend the existing understanding of action crises, we investigated the dynamics of doubts in daily life and addressed two questions: (1) To what extent do doubts with respect to a personal goal fluctuate in daily life? (2) In which situations do individuals primarily have doubts? In an experience sampling study (N = 254), we assessed doubts about a personal goal five times a day over 10 days. Our findings indicate that the level of doubt varies between individuals but also fluctuates within persons. Doubts increase in response to negative goal-related events and decrease in response to positive goal-related events. Individuals with higher (vs. lower) levels of action crisis have particularly high levels of doubt during goal-related (vs. -unrelated) activity. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on goal disengagement and point to the relevance of studying motivational parameters from a dynamic perspective. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)