Influence of different goal pursuits on well-being

LI Yuan1

(1.Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

【Abstract】The self-determination theory has divided the goals into intrinsic goals and extrinsic goals according to the contents of goals. The intrinsic goals regard self-development and growth as pursued goals, accomplishing these goals could improve growth and perfection of personality and cognition. While the extrinsic goals regard obtaining external rewards or social desirability as pursued goals. The pursuit of these goals is more related with externally settled standards. Using the questionnaire of the mobile client, this study investigated 15780 users. According to the results, the pursuit of intrinsic goals could enhance the individuals’ well-being, especially the meaning well-being, increase positive emotion, decrease negative emotion, and have positive correlation with physical health. While the pursuit of extrinsic goals could significantly enhance the pleasure well-being and meaning well-being to some extent, but meanwhile it could also increase the experience of negative emotion, decrease the experience of positive emotion, and have positive correlation with poor physical condition. Generally speaking, the pursuit of intrinsic goals could bring the physical and mental health in good condition to the individuals.

【Keywords】 intrinsic goals; extrinsic goals; positive emotion; negative emotion; well-being;


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(Translated by TAN Wenwen)


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