Carver, C. S., & Baird, E.  (1998).  The American dream revisited:  Is it what you want or why you want it that matters? Psychological Science, 9, 289-292.

Previous research found that aspirations to financial success related inversely to self-actualization and that aspirations to community involvement related positively to self-actualization.  We argue that diverse reasons can underlie both of these aspirations, leading to more complex predictions.  We assessed both self-determining and controlling reasons for each class of aspiration, along with the aspirations themselves.  Initial regression analyses replicated the earlier findings.  Subsequent analyses found that endorsement of self-determining reasons for either class of aspiration related positively to self-actualization and that endorsement of controlling reasons for either class of aspiration related inversely to self-actualization.  In the analysis involving community feeling, the aspiration itself no longer retained predictive power.  In the analysis involving financial success, however, the aspiration retained an independent predictive role.

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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology