Empowering People through Behavioral Science

Purpose in Goal Pursuit

In exploring the human experience of purpose, the NPP project has identified several core themes that are particularly significant, and which provide a useful framework for organizing our activities.  This page displays the content from this website tagged for one of those themes: Purpose in Goal Pursuit.

The Purpose in Goal Pursuit theme focuses our attention on the situational or contextual factors that might influence people’s motivation to set, pursue, and accomplish their significant short- and long-term goals. How do such external influences (e.g., physical environment, social forces, peers) compare to and work with internal influences (e.g., self-control, moral identity, personal beliefs) in inspiring and facilitating the achievement of purpose? See below for content related to our emerging insights.

 

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Sep 24 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

When Patients Ignore Doctors’ Emotions

(The Atlantic) The doctor-patient relationship is a crucial, oft-discussed part of health care. One person seeking help, the other with the knowledge to offer it, a beautiful symbiosis. Or so it should be. In reality, this relationship (like all relationships, really) is complicated and messy. Perhaps more so because it takes place in little half-hour bursts, sometimes months apart.

In the News
Sep 20 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

How to give customers a nudge

(The Globe and Mail) A lawyer, an economist, a marketer, and a behavioural scientist walk into a bar.

In the News
Sep 16 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

Why Do We Admire Mobsters?

(The New Yorker) In 1947, when Elaine Slott was sixteen, she travelled with her mother and sister to visit her aunt and uncle in Florida. The day after they arrived, however, Elaine and her aunt boarded another plane by themselves. Elaine soon found herself speeding to Cuba, where the family had business interests. Elaine remembers that night well. After they landed, she and her aunt left Havana and drove for several hours into areas that seemed increasingly remote. It was very late and very dark when they finally arrived at a stately house. Along with a few guests, a number of family members, including Elaine’s uncle, had gathered there for a dinner party. Their host, who had been cooking pasta, emerged from the kitchen wearing a white apron. He introduced himself to Elaine as Charlie.

In the News
Sep 08 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

How to get consumers to walk the ‘last mile’

(The Globe and Mail) If you think about what people actually do in organizations from day to day, the bulk of their efforts are spent on what I call “first-mile problems.” These include the efforts devoted to thinking through the competitive landscape; developing strategies to address it; designing processes of innovation; and coming up with new products and services.

In the News
Sep 08 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

How to get consumers to walk the ‘last mile’

(The Globe and Mail) If you think about what people actually do in organizations from day to day, the bulk of their efforts are spent on what I call “first-mile problems.” These include the efforts devoted to thinking through the competitive landscape; developing strategies to address it; designing processes of innovation; and coming up with new products and services.

In the News
Aug 25 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

The Psychology of Karma

(Huffington Post) Research by psychologist Benjamin Converse at the University of Virginia finds that human beings tend believe in a kind of karma, namely our western skew on the spiritual axiom that good deeds result being treated well by fate; we believe we can influence uncontrollable outcomes by performing good deeds, with the often underlying expectation that the universe will pay us back in kind. Confronted with bad news, we may think "If I can get through this, I'll be a better person from hereon."

In the News
Jul 21 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

Booth study hints at how to motivate people to do what you like

(Chicago Tribune) Bhttp://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-ayelet-fishbach-booth-motivation-bsi-20150721-story.htmlusiness marketing and political campaigns aim to move people to action — and a new study has some interesting implications on the art of persuasion.

In the News
Jun 30 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

People follow your words, not actions

(Business Standard) Turning conventional wisdom on its head, a study has found that you can attract more followers if you stress what you like, not what you do.

In the News
Jun 16 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

Why Some of Us Dread Going on Vacation

(Harvard Business Review) There is a paradox around vacations. We all know that it is important to get away from the office periodically. Time away from work gives you a chance to relax, to reduce stress, renew your ties with your family, and to get away from problems you have struggled with so that you can think about them differently on your return to the office.

In the News
Jun 12 2015
Purpose in Goal Pursuit

People Remember What You Say When You Paint a Picture

(Harvard Business Review) When leaders communicate a vision of their organization’s future, they tend to emphasize ideals and ideology — the importance of “success,” “stewardship,” or “sustainability.”  Leaders are likely to emphasize this type of abstract rhetoric more as businesses become increasingly digital. Given that employees within the same organization increasingly possess distinct types of technical knowledge, it may appear that an abstract, general vision is appropriate in order to gain traction and prevent alienating different constituencies.

In the News

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