Self-Regulation in a Simultaneous, Multiple-Goal Environment

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Virginia Tech

The present study sought to extend goal-setting research by examining the nature of individuals' self-regulation with respect to performance goals while pursuing multiple, simultaneous goals. It was proposed that goal revision and effort allocation would be influenced by goal-performance discrepancies (GPD), causal attributions for factors affecting performance, self-efficacy, and rate of progress toward task goals. Results indicated that GPDs predicted goal revision direction and magnitude, and that controllability attributions moderated the GPD – revision relation. GPD size determined prioritization between tasks, as did self-efficacy. Mixed results were found for self-efficacy moderating the relation between GPD size and task prioritization. Rate of progress toward a task goal generally predicted prioritization between tasks and the amount of exerted effort within a single task. Although many results were not in the anticipated form, they still fit with modern theoretical frameworks associated with work motivation. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

pooled time series, work motivation, goal revision, self-regulation, multiple goals, simultaneous goals