From Primed Construct to Motivated Behavior: Validation Processes in Goal Pursuit

Kenneth G. DeMarree, Chris Loersch, Pablo Briñol, Richard E. Petty, B. Keith Payne, Derek D. Rucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Past research has found that primes can automatically initiate unconscious goal striving. Recent models of priming have suggested that this effect can be moderated by validation processes. According to a goal-validation perspective, primes should cause changes in one's motivational state to the extent people have confidence in the prime-related mental content. Across three experiments, we provided the first direct empirical evidence for this goal-validation account. Using a variety of goal priming manipulations (cooperation vs. competition, achievement, and self-improvement vs. saving money) and validity inductions (power, ease, and writing about confidence), we demonstrated that the impact of goal primes on behavior occurs to a greater extent when conditions foster confidence (vs. doubt) in mental contents. Indeed, when conditions foster doubt, goal priming effects are eliminated or counter to the implications of the prime. The implications of these findings for research on goal priming and validation processes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1659-1670
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • automaticity
  • goal pursuit
  • metacognition
  • validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'From Primed Construct to Motivated Behavior: Validation Processes in Goal Pursuit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this