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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Purpose in Goal Pursuit

Mechanisms of Motivation-Cognition Interaction: Challenges and Opportunities

Recent years have seen a rejuvenation of interest in studies of motivation–cognition interactions arising from many different areas of psychology and neuroscience. The present issue of Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience provides a sampling of some of the latest research from a number of these different areas. In this introductory article, we provide an overview of the current state of the field, in terms of key research developments and candidate neural mechanisms receiving focused investigation as potential sources of motivation–cognition interaction. However, our primary goal is conceptual: to highlight the distinct perspectives taken by different research areas, in terms of how motivation is defined, the relevant dimensions and dissociations that are emphasized, and the theoretical questions being targeted. Together, these distinctions present both challenges and opportunities for efforts aiming toward a more unified and cross-disciplinary approach. We identify a set of pressing research questions calling for this sort of cross-disciplinary approach, with the explicit goal of encouraging integrative and collaborative investigations directed toward them.

Braver, T.S., Krug, M.K., Chiew, K.S., Kool, W., Westbrook, J.A., Clement, N.J., Adcock, R.A., Barch, D.M., Botvinick, M.M. et al. (2014). Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: Challenges and opportunities. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, (14)2, 443-472. DOI: 10.3758/s13415-014-0300-0

Purpose in Goal Pursuit

Motives and Goals

Fishbach, A., & Touré-Tillery, M., (2013). Motives and Goals. In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds.) , Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF Publishers. DOI: http://www.nobaproject.com


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