Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 852–870 | Cite as

Postactional goal pursuit: Consequences of task completion for thought content, affect, and behavioral intentions

  • Sean M. McCreaEmail author
  • Richard J. Vann
Original Paper


Postactional goal pursuit remains an underexplored area of the mindset theory of action phases. According to the theory, individuals enter a postactional phase following the completion of an intention. This phase focuses on evaluating goal outcomes, answering questions such as: Was the goal completed successfully? Was it worth the effort? Contrasting postactional phase with predecisional and actional goal pursuit, the present research examines differences in cognitive orientation, affective responses to feedback, and functional benefits for adapting subsequent goal pursuit. Five experiments show that postactional goal pursuit engenders outcome-focused deliberation, more intense affect in reaction to the current state of goal pursuit, and increased readiness to adapt subsequent goal pursuit to experienced outcomes. Moving beyond conceptual arguments, the present work provides initial evidence that postactional goal pursuit provokes a mindset-like shift suitable for a phase-specific task of outcome evaluation.


Goals Mindset theory Action phases Evaluation mindset Aspiration levels 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  2. 2.Penn State BehrendErieUSA

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