When and how does anger during goal pursuit relate to goal achievement? The roles of persistence and action planning

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Anger is a fundamental negative activating state that may occur in the process of goal pursuit when goals are blocked or frustrated. We investigate when and why anger during goal pursuit may positively or negatively relate to goal achievement. Drawing upon action regulation theory and the literature on affective consequences, we develop and test a moderated mediation model in which persistence functions as a mediator of the relationship between anger and goal achievement and this mediation is moderated by action planning. We tested the model in two correlational field studies (Study 1, N = 197; Study 2, N = 110). Our analyses supported the general model. Across both studies, self-reported anger during goal pursuit is negatively related to later goal achievement through a decrease in persistence when participants’ action planning is low. When action planning was reported to be high, anger was unrelated to persistence and goal achievement. Our results highlight the value of integrating action regulatory processes when discussing the relationships between affective states and goal achievement.

ZeitschriftMotivation and Emotion
Seiten (von - bis)205-217
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.04.2019