Das setzen und verwirklichen von zielen

Translated title of the contribution: Goal setting and goal implementation

Gabriele Oeltingen, Peter M. Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The historical roots of the goal concept are found in behaviorism, mentalism, and German will psychology. It is suggested that the psychology of goal pursuit has recently experienced a renaissance. Modern goal psychology focuses on phenomena of goal setting and goal attainment. With respect to goal setting, content approaches as well as self-regulatory approaches are differentiated. Goal content approaches try to predict successful goal setting on the basis of distinct features (e. g., assigned versus self-set goals, specific versus abstract goals, promotion versus prevention goals, performance versus learning goals). Self-regulatory approaches, to the contrary, analyze processes that facilitate successful goal setting (e.g., mental contrasting of the future with impeding reality, promoting self-efficacy expectations). Further, issues of goal implementation are investigated. Again, relevant content and structural features of goals (e.g., materialistic versus idealistic goals, proximal versus distal goals, approach versus avoidance goals) and self-regulatory processes (e.g., implemental mindsets, implementation intentions, action control strategies, energization, discrepancy reduction) are identified. Finally, goal relevant phenomena which have been widely ignored in modern goal psychology (e.g., goal conflict, goal disengagement) are addressed.

Translated title of the contributionGoal setting and goal implementation
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)406-430
Number of pages25
JournalZeitschrift fur Psychologie
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Action
  • Goal contents
  • Goal implementation
  • Goal setting
  • Self-regulatory processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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