People can do better if they do not make their goals public(New York University, 2009)

Goal and Success


It became clear that sharing goals with others lowered commitment.The reason for this is that by showing off your goals to someone else,you will feel a certain sense of accomplishment.It means that even though you haven't achieved your goals, justtalking about them makes you feel as if you have achieved yourgoals.In fact, in this study, participants with similar progresstoward their goals were divided into two groups: those who publishedtheir goals and those who did not.The subjects who made their goalspublic felt that they were closer to achieving them than the othergroup.In other words, when you make your goals public, you get theillusion that you have achieved them, and as a result, your commitmentweakens.

Tips for practicing this technique

A common advice for achieving goals is that you should make your goalspublic.This advice is aimed at increasing your commitment to achievingyour goals.Of course, if you publish your goals, you will have toexplain the consequences.Also, since humans prefer consistency, youmay be tempted to achieve their goals as announced.From theseperspectives, the advice that goals should be made public would betheoretically correct.

But what happens when you actually follow that advice?The experimentof this research verified that.As a result, it was found that thecommitment to achieving the goal is more improved if the goal is notmade public.Like this, theory and practice often have conflicting results.Instead of blindly trusting the advice and theories of others, try tokeep a practical perspective on how they actually work for you.

Introduction of the research

Research InstituteNew York University
Year the study was published2009
Quote sourceGollwitzer et al., 2009

Summary of the research

The research team first conducted three experiments to examine howmaking goals public affects the process of achieving them.Theresearchers found that when participants shared their goals withothers, their commitments decreased rather than increased.Oncesubjects made their goals public, they put less effort into achievingthem.This suggests that making our goals public can have an effectthat is completely opposite to what we intend.

Next, the researchers conducted another experiment to find out whypublishing a goal would discourage effort.Then, subjects who madetheir goals public perceived that they were getting closer toachieving them.In other words, making a goal public has the effect ofgiving the illusion of having achieved it.

My view on this research

I think there are various purposes when you talk about your goal.Butdon't talk about goals in order to increase your own commitment.Also,making your goals public without a purpose has a negative effectrather than meaningless.On the other hand, if you want someone to helpyou, you have no choice but to make your goal public.So, It might be agood idea to decide whether you want to make your goals public basedon whether you have a purpose that needs to be made public.

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