Mixed emotions within the context of goal pursuit

Shannon T. Mejía, Karen Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Development in adulthood occurs through the process of setting and working toward goals. Emotions link experiences to goals and action, and are integral to goal setting and goal pursuit. The simultaneous experience of positive and negative or ‘mixed’ emotions coheres with the complexity of goal pursuit within the context of competing demands in daily life. Mixed emotions—experienced as uncertainty in goal prioritization, ambiguity of an event's outcome, or poignancy recognizing gains and losses—provide conflicting signals that must be resolved before goal pursuit can continue. The process of resolving mixed emotions may evoke a new awareness of priorities and available options that leads to better goal outcomes. Over time, openness to mixed emotions may support health and self-actualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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