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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on May 19, 2010

A new study suggests people who focus on how to achieve a goal may have a harder time achieving their aims than people who think abstractly about why they want to do something.

“Imagine a person who has a goal to save money. The person forms a plan to save money by purchasing fewer clothing items at the mall,” University of Chicago researchers write in the study.

“We investigate how this plan influences the person’s response to other money-saving opportunities. For example, would the person be more likely to order a cheaper meal at a restaurant, avoid making an impulse purchase, or combine errands to save money on gas?”

The study is found in the Journal of Consumer Research.

The authors found that when people focus on concrete aspects of how they want to achieve goals, they become more closed-minded and less likely to take advantage of opportunities that fall outside their plans.

And, in contrast, people who focus on the why are more likely to consider out-of-plan opportunities to achieve their goals.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/19/abstract-thoughts-help-goal-attainment/13934.html



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