The effects of framing and goal orientation on upward goal revision
Goal setting and goal revision have a long history in both the fields of Industrial and Organizational Psychology as well as Education. Research in these unique fields has identified several relationships involving goal setting. For example, setting higher or more difficult goals tends to lead to better performance. The idiosyncratic effects of these relationships, however, have not been investigated in a single study. In order to do so, a laboratory experiment was designed. The goal for individuals in this study was to maximize the number of tickets they earned to be placed into a drawing for $50. Participants earned tickets through a series of timed puzzles presented to them in either a positive or negatively framed situation. Larger puzzles represented a chance to either gain more tickets, or avoid losing more tickets depending on the framing of the situation. Failure to complete puzzles, however, resulted in the loss of all tickets. Results indicated a significant main effect for message framing such that individuals in a negatively framed situation made riskier decisions, and set higher goals. Participants in the positively framed situation were more risk averse and chose smaller sized puzzles.