Features of Multifinality

Arie W. Kruglanski, Catalina Köpetz, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, Woo Young Chun, Edward Orehek, Ayelet Fishbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Diverse facets of the multifinality configuration in goal-directed behavior are identified and empirically explored. The multifinality construct denotes a motivational structure wherein a single means is linked to several ends. A multifinality configuration maximizes value that a given means promises to deliver while sacrificing expectancy of attainment due to a dilution effect. Several phenomena implied by multifinality theory are investigated, including an unconscious quest for multifinal means, the constraints that such quest imposes on means to a focal goal, and structural conditions under which an activity may be experienced as intrinsically motivated. Multifinality phenomena appear in numerous domains of social cognition, and the present theory offers a novel perspective on classic motivational effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • goals
  • means
  • motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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  • Cite this

    Kruglanski, A. W., Köpetz, C., Bélanger, J. J., Chun, W. Y., Orehek, E., & Fishbach, A. (2013). Features of Multifinality. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17(1), 22-39. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868312453087