The Automatic Evaluation of Goals

Melissa Ferguson, Cornell University, USA
Findings from three experiments suggest that participants’ automatic evaluations of goals (i.e., desirable, abstract end-states) significantly predicted and influenced their goal-relevant behavior. Participants’ automatic evaluations of the goal to be thin predicted their goal-relevant behavior (restrained eating) above and beyond their explicit attitude toward the goal, their explicitly measured commitment to the goal, and their automatic evaluations of more concrete, goal-relevant objects (tempting foods). Moreover, participants for whom the goal of egalitarianism had been subliminally positively (vs. neutrally) conditioned showed significantly less prejudicial decision-making. These findings together suggest that automatic evaluations of goals possess unique predictive validity for goal-relevant behavior.
[ to cite ]:
Melissa Ferguson (2007) ,"The Automatic Evaluation of Goals", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 271-275.