The allure of bad plans: Implications of plan quality for progress toward possible selves and postplanning energization

Marti Hope Gonzales, Diana J. Burgess, Lynne J. Mobilio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two studies examined the influence of plan quality on participants' postplanning affective self-reports. Most Study 1 participants reported positive affect after planning for self-change; such positive reports were more prominent among those who constructed vague, unstructured plans than among those who constructed detailed, structured plans. Experimental Study 2 demonstrated that the relation between plan quality and consequent affect is mediated in part by planners' perceptions of imminent goal attainment, that poor planning confers the benefit of energization, and that good planning confers the affective liability of anxiety and agitation. Results of both studies suggest that the act of constructing a vague self-change plan provides immediate affective and cognitive benefits. Thus, plan construction can be a reinforcing activity, in and of itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-108
Number of pages22
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2001

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