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Francesca RIGHETTI
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Sacrifice in close relationships

Prosocial behavior is often thought to bring psychological benefits to individuals and relationships. Do such benefits exist when prosocial behavior is particularly costly for the individual, such as when people are sacrificing personal goals and preferences for their partner or relationship? Different theoretical accounts would predict that sacrifice is either positively or negatively associated with personal and relational well-being and previous research found inconsistent results regarding these links. I will review recent research from my lab (including a meta-analysis) that examined the consequences of sacrifice for the person who sacrifices and for the recipient. Specifically, I will show how accurately sacrifices are detected by partners in daily life and what are the consequences of this detection. I will then discuss possible ways in which couples can navigate situations of conflict of interests in a constructive manner and solve these challenging interpersonal problems.


Carleton University

Pursuing personal goals: Individual, contextual, and goal-specific predictors and mechanisms of successful goal pursuit.

Setting and pursuing personal goals is ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives. However, although people commonly set personal goals, they very often fail to attain them. In this talk, I will provide an overview of my research on personal goal pursuit, focusing on the individual differences, contextual factors, and goal characteristics that predict (and fail to predict) goal progress, and the self-regulatory mechanisms through which these predictors operate. Overall, this research shows that the path to success is in making goal pursuit feel easier by reducing obstacles, using strategies, and making the experience feel more intrinsically rewarding. Throughout the talk I will also highlight how this program of research utilizes a multi-method approach that includes experimental, prospective, and experience-sampling research as well as a focus on idiosyncratic personal goals. Moving forward, it will be necessary to integrate existing models and theories of goal pursuit to obtain a more cohesive picture of how individuals can best set and attain their personal goals.


Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Psych. Dr.phil.

Katja Corcoran

Institut für Psychologie

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