Can you help me become the "Me" I want to be? The role of goal pursuit in friendship formation

Erica B. Slotter, Wendi L Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Individuals' relationships often provide pathways to self-change. One pathway involves individuals using others to help them pursue important, self-relevant goals. Past research has demonstrated that individuals prefer existing friends who can help them pursue important goals. The current research expands upon these findings in two studies by demonstrating the role that goal pursuit plays in friendship formation. The current work demonstrates that individuals prefer, largely without their own awareness, to approach potential friends that can help them achieve their goals over those who cannot. The findings also demonstrated that simply expressing the preference for potential friends who could help them achieve their goals predicted individuals feeling that they were subjectively closer to their desired self than they had been previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalSelf and Identity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Friendship formation
  • Goal pursuit
  • Self/identity
  • Social relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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