Goal pursuit occurs in the context of competing goals. For example, the long-term pursuit of academic success often occurs in the presence of short-term hedonic goals, or temptations. Hence, pursuing a focal goal involves negotiation with other conflicting goals.

Our lab study how people resolve such goal conflicts with self-control strategies. Sample questions that motivate our research are:

What is the nature of the impulses related to temptation?
Can we provide implicit training to reduce the impulse?
How do people resist temptations with self-control strategies (e.g., proactively removing temptations in an environment)?
Do people always abstain from temptations or do they strategically indulge in temptations?

  • Jia, L., Hirt, E. R., & Nowak, M. (2019). Adaptive indulgence in self-control: A multi-level cost-benefit analysis. Psychological Inquiry30, 140-146.

  • Jia, L., Hirt, E. R., & Fishbach, A. (2019). Protecting an important goal: When prior self-control increases motivation for active goal pursuit. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85.

  • Jia, L., Hirt, E. R., & Koh, A. H. Q. (2019). How to have your cake and eat it too: Strategic indulgence in big-time collegiate sports among academically successful students. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(6), 792–801.

  • Koh, A. H. Q, Jia, L., & Hirt, E. R. (2017). Where do desires come from? Positivity offset and negativity bias predict implicit attitude toward temptations. Motivation and Emotion, 41, 431-442. pdf