City Observer Newsletter 14 March 2014

New York University Psychologist Gabrielle Oettingen, and Angela Duckworth from University of Pennsylvania believe there are three strategies people use in goal setting, however, two of these three are thought to be ineffective. ‘Optimists’ like to believe their wishes will come true, as well as the rewards and praise that are associated in their imaginings. A higher academic grade will not necessarily follow automatically from Optimists’ thinking. ‘Pessimists’ dwell on the things that prevent them from achieving, the ‘excuses’, but this won’t improve performance either. The term ‘Mental Contrasting’ is used for the combination of setting optimistic goals but also when combined with considering the impediments to reaching the goals and deciding on solutions to reducing the impediments. For example, a student who is distracted by their social media, television or online games, should decide that they will complete their homework well before they look at these distractions. The successfully progressing individual knows where they want to go and they are organised to get there.

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