Quotation Stavrova, Olga, Pronk, Tila, Kokkoris, Michail. 2019. Choosing goals that express the true self: A novel mechanism of the effect of self‐control on goal attainment. European Journal of Social Psychology. 49 (6), 1329-1336.




Why is trait self‐control associated with successful goal progress? Existing research has attempted to answer this question by focusing on individual differences in the process of goal pursuit. Herein, we propose and test a novel mechanism suggesting that self‐control facilitates goal attainment not only by affecting the process of goal pursuit but also the type of goals people select in the first place. Three studies showed that high (vs. low) self‐control individuals are more likely to report successful goal attainment and this association was mediated by their tendency to select the goals that reflect their true/authentic self. These results were obtained using cross‐sectional and longitudinal designs and were robust against controlling for previously established mechanisms of the effect of trait self‐control on goal attainment (habit strength, experiences of goal‐conflicting desires). Overall, there findings contribute to the literatures on self‐regulation, authenticity and goal management.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Journal of Social Psychology
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new WH-B
Language English
Title Choosing goals that express the true self: A novel mechanism of the effect of self‐control on goal attainment
Volume 49
Number 6
Year 2019
Page from 1329
Page to 1336
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2559
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejsp.2559


Kokkoris, Michail (Former researcher)
Pronk, Tila (Tilburg University, Netherlands)
Stavrova, Olga (Tilburg University, Netherlands)
Institute for Marketing and Consumer Research IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5320 Marketing (Details)
5504 Experimental psychology (Details)
5511 Social psychology (Details)
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