Date of Graduation

Spring 2014


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Thomas Kane


Do long-term goals affect short-term motivational processes? Albert Bandura (1997) proposed that people possess structures of long- and short-term goals, hierarchically arranged, which guide and motivate human action. My study advanced the understanding of these goal-structures by providing data pertinent to the relationships among long-term and short-term goals. Specifically, my study examined whether a goal-setter's commitment to career goals affected commitment and motivation related to semester academic goals. Findings indicated a motivational edge for those who reported stronger emotional commitment to their career goals. Those most emotionally attached to challenging career goals were more committed to their semester academic goals. Also, those who reported possessing no career goals set less challenging academic goals and realized lower academic performance. A student's emotional attachment to their career goals is more consistently related to short-term motivation than their rational attachment based on a logical cost/benefit assessment or financial and other rewards.


goal-setting, goal hierarchies, self-regulation, commitment, intrinsic, extrinsic, emotional, ration

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© Michael George McKenna

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