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In the present article, we explore whether people’s mental representation of progress level can function as a self-regulation mechanism that helps motivate continued effort in the pursuit. We propose that when individuals have just started pursuing a goal and have accumulated only limited progress, they exaggerate the achieved progress level in their mental representation to signal a higher chance of eventual goal attainment and thus elicit greater effort. In contrast, when people have made substantial progress and are approaching the goal attainment, they downplay the achieved progress in their mental representation to create greater perceived discrepancy, hence eliciting greater effort. Empirical evidence from 4 studies supported the hypothesis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/publications/so-near-yet-so-far-mental-representation-goal-progress

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This page is a summary of: So near and yet so far: The mental representation of goal progress., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, January 2012, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/a0028443.
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