Charles S. Carver

Fulford, D., Johnson, S. L., Llabre, M. M., & Carver, C. S. (2010). Pushing and coasting in dynamic goal pursuit: Coasting is attenuated in bipolar disorder. Psychological Science, 21, 1021-1027.

An experience sampling study tested the influence of goal progress on subsequent effort among persons with bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy controls. Overall, it was hypothesized that unexpectedly low progress toward a goal would lead to an increase in subsequent effort, and unexpectedly high progress would lead to a decrease in effort (permitting effort to shift to another goal). Drawing on literature relating BD to elevated approach-goal sensitivity, it was hypothesized that persons with BD would be less responsive to unexpectedly high progress than would controls. Participants answered questions about three goals, three times a day, for 21 days. Overall, unexpectedly low progress yielded greater subsequent effort toward that goal and unexpectedly high progress yielded reduced subsequent effort toward that goal. Reactions of persons with BD did not differ from those of controls after lower-than-expected progress, but they decreased effort significantly less than controls after better-than-expected progress.

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