ERIC Number: ED226299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Symbolic Self-Completion and the Maintenance of Self-Defining Goals.
Gollwitzer, Peter M.
Observation suggests that people who strive for personally important goals disregard failure experiences or disruptions to completing a self-definition and engage in self-symbolizing in the form of positive self-descriptions designed to cover up a lack of support for the self-definition. To examine this self-symbolizing, dyads of females (N=30) committed to the self-definition of female professional completed an adjective pair questionnaire and subsequently received false feedback: support for the female professional self-definition was added or removed. Each dyad member was then given the chance to produce more positive self-descriptions than her partner. Results showed that females who had received negative feedback about themselves as professionals produced more positive self-descriptions. In a second experiment, subjects committed to the self-definitional goal of raising a family either expected to receive, or did or did not receive social recognition for their self-descriptions. Results showed that those whose self-descriptions were not recognized engaged in more self-symbolizing than those who either expected to or did receive recognition. The findings suggest that social reality is a stablizing factor when people strive for self-defining goals. (MCF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: West Germany
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982). For related document, see CG 016 482.