Predicting subsequent task performance from goal motivation and goal failure

Laura C. Healy, Nikos Ntoumanis, Brandon D. Stewart, Joan L. Duda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
182 Downloads (Pure)


Recent research has demonstrated that the cognitive processes associated with goal pursuit can continue to interfere with unrelated tasks when a goal is unfulfilled. Drawing from the self-regulation and goal-striving literatures, the present study explored the impact of goal failure on subsequent cognitive and physical task performance. Furthermore, we examined if the autonomous or controlled motivation underpinning goal striving moderates the responses to goal failure. Athletes (75 male, 59 female, Mage = 19.90 years, SDage = 3.50) completed a cycling trial with the goal of covering a given distance in 8 min. Prior to the trial, their motivation was primed using a video. During the trial they were provided with manipulated performance feedback, thus creating conditions of goal success or failure. No differences emerged in the responses to goal failure between the primed motivation or performance feedback conditions. We make recommendations for future research into how individuals can deal with failure in goal striving.
Original languageEnglish
Article number926
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2015


  • goal pursuit
  • self-concordance
  • self-determination theory
  • executive function
  • physical performance


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