Goal pursuit in the context of culture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Socio-cultural contexts can be differentiated by whether they grant the space of free movement. This chapter operationalizes this variable by pointing to the cultural value of norm-orientation and reasoning that loose cultures should foster the use of mental contrasting and forming implementation intentions, while in tight cultures these modes of thought are not needed to effectively control one's actions. Indulging and dwelling should be prevalent in tight cultures, as these modes of thought facilitate endurance and positive affect in situations that do not allow for free movement. Certainly, each individual member of a loose or tight culture should at times entertain a typical self-regulatory thought. Culture may affect people's goal pursuits via determining the perceived desirability and feasibility of potential goals. With respect to perceived feasibility, a line of research is presented showing that political system and cultural variables conjointly inform people's self-efficacy beliefs. The question of how cultural values might affect people's preferential use of certain self-regulation strategies when committing to and acting on goals is raised. Also, there should be individual differences in preferred self-regulatory thought within a given culture. The socio-cultural contexts should selectively favor the prevalence of specific types of self-regulatory thought in their members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Motivation and Cognition Across Cultures
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780123736949
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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