Goal contagion: perceiving is for pursuing.

  title={Goal contagion: perceiving is for pursuing.},
  author={Henk Aarts and Peter M. Gollwitzer and Ran Hassin},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  volume={87 1},
Six studies examined the goal contagion hypothesis, which claims that individuals may automatically adopt and pursue a goal that is implied by another person's behavior. Participants were briefly exposed to behavioral information implying a specific goal and were then given the opportunity to act on the goal in a different way and context. Studies 1-3 established the goal contagion phenomenon by showing that the behavioral consequences of goal contagion possess features of goal directedness: (a… 

Tables from this paper

When and How Goals Are Contagious in Social Interaction
Goal contagion occurs when a perceiver interacts with a partner whose behavior implies he/she is pursuing a particular goal and the perceiver accurately infers and subsequently pursues the partner's
For Whom the Goals Loom: Context-Driven Goal Contagion
Goal contagion is a process in which perceivers inadvertently “catch” goals inferred from others' behavior; yet, social perception is often driven by the broader contexts surrounding others—and these
Interpersonal influences on goals: Current and future directions for goal contagion research
A growing body of research documents goal contagion, a phenomenon whereby people are likely to catch—to adopt and pursue for themselves—the goals they see others pursuing. Here, I situate goal
Do Behavioral Observations Make People Catch the Goal? A Meta-Analysis on Goal Contagion
Goal contagion is a social-cognitive approach to understanding how other people’s behavior influences one’s goal pursuit: An observation of goal-directed behavior leads to an automatic inference and
The effect of psychological distance on automatic goal contagion
It is predicted people would be more prone to goal contagion when primed with psychological distance because they would construe the other person’s behavior in terms of its underlying goal, and that construal level and relevance effects might cancel each other out.
Goal contagion: Inferring goals from others' actions - And what it leads to
It is suggested that the perception of goal-implying behaviors may facilitate the perceivers' own achievement of the implied goals without the need for conscious assistance.
Vicarious goal satiation.
Psychological "gel" to bind individuals' goal pursuit: gratitude facilitates goal contagion.
It is proposed that gratitude can have an incidental effect in facilitating goal contagion: automatically inferring and adopting the goal implied by a social other's behavior.


Automatic for the people: how representations of significant others implicitly affect goal pursuit.
  • J. Shah
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 2003
Evidence is presented that suggests goals may be primed by one's representation of a significant other and that this priming may be moderated by one'm closeness to this other individual.
The theory of planned behavior
The projection of implicit and explicit goals.
It was the actual goal to compete rather than the trait construct of competitiveness that was projected, and the control of automatic goal projection effects is discussed, and interpersonal consequences of goal projection are delineated.
Habits as knowledge structures: automaticity in goal-directed behavior.
It was tested and confirmed that, when behavior is habitual, behavioral responses are activated automatically and the results of 3 experiments indicated that the automaticity in habits is conditional on the presence of an active goal, supporting the idea that habits are mentally represented as goal-action links.
Thinking of you: nonconscious pursuit of interpersonal goals associated with relationship partners.
Findings support the hypothesis that interpersonal goals are component features of relationship representations and that mere activation of those representations, even in the partner's physical absence, causes the goals to become active and to guide behavior nonconsciously within the current situation.
Automatic goal inferences.
Handbook of motivation and cognition : foundations of social behavior
The apparent success of cognitive principles in accounting for several behaviors has led social psychologists to question the need for motivations and other "hot" dispositional constructs. In their
The automated will: nonconscious activation and pursuit of behavioral goals.
Five experiments reported in which the goal either to perform well or to cooperate was activated, without the awareness of participants, through a priming manipulation demonstrated that action guided by nonconsciously activated goals effectively guide action, enabling adaptation to ongoing situational demands.
The activation of unrelated and canceled intentions
In two experiments, some ecological and naturally occurring situations taken from the literature on prospective memory are tested and demonstrated that they have consistent consequences for the activation level of an intention.
Taking the intentional stance at 12 months of age