The psychological trade-offs of goal investment

Eva M. Pomerantz, Jill L. Saxon, Shigehiro Oishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The primary goal of this research was to investigate the possibility that being very invested in goals has psychological trade-offs. Self-report methods were used in a concurrent study with college students (Study 1) and a longitudinal study with elementary school children (Study 2). The results of both studies provided support for the hypothesis that high goal investment has psychological trade-offs. Such investment was associated with positive emotions as well as with worrying, both concurrently and longitudinally. In addition, evidence for mediational mechanisms was provided: Perceptions of accomplishment accounted for the relation between goal investment and positive emotions; the link between goal investment and worrying was mediated by predictions that failure would be upsetting. The implications of these findings for distinguishing between depressive and anxiety symptoms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-630
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The psychological trade-offs of goal investment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this