Getting things done: Conscientiousness and Goal Setting Theory

Conscientiousness (C) is characterized by orderly, responsible, industrious, and ambitious behavior, leading to positive outcomes in work, health, and relationships. However, the mechanisms through which C influences these behaviors and outcomes are unclear. In two studies (n = 517), we tested a model that suggests C operates through goal setting systems outlined in Goal Setting Theory (GST: Locke & Latham, 2002). The results showed strong associations between C and ten goal setting motives proposed in GST. This correlation supports the idea that C is closely tied to intentional goal setting, offering insights for managing performance.

Image courtesy of interviewee. December 15, 2023

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