Mental Contrasting and Goal Commitment: The Mediating Role of energization

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Gabriele Oettingen
  • Doris Mayer
  • Timur Sevincer
  • Elizabeth J. Stephens
  • Hyeon-ju Pak
  • Meike Hagenah

Mentally contrasting a desired future with present reality is a self-regulation strategy that leads to goal commitment in line with a person's expectations of success. One possible mediator variable of these effects is level of energization. In Study 1, energization assessed by physiological measures was found to mediate the effect of mental contrasting on goal commitment. In Study 2, feelings of energization, as assessed by self-report, mediated the effect of mental contrasting on goal commitment as gauged by performance on an acute stress paradigm (giving a talk in front of a camera). Results imply that when expectations of success are high, mental contrasting provides the level of energy needed to commit to realizing desired futures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)608-622
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 05.2009
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Energization, Expectations, Fantasies, Mental contrasting, Self-regulation
  • Psychology