Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: What doesn’t kill you . . .: Means for avoidance goal pursuit are less enjoyable than means for approach goal pursuit.

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Personal goals can be directed toward approaching positive states (approach goals) or toward avoiding negative states (avoidance goals). Little is known about whether people experience the means they deploy (e.g., goal-conducive activities and objects) for approach goal pursuit in the same way they experience the means for avoidance goal pursuit. Three studies show that the means that people consider effective for their avoidance goals are experienced as less enjoyable than the means they consider effective for their approach goals (Study 1), that people consider unenjoyable means as more instrumental for avoidance than for approach goals and enjoyable means as more instrumental for approach than for avoidance goals (Study 2), and that there is a fit effect causing higher ratings of means effectiveness if a given means instrumentality for either approach or avoidance goals matches the intrinsic enjoyment of this means, that is when an enjoyable means is instrumental for an approach goal or a nonenjoyable means is instrumental for an avoidance goals ("fit" conditions) as opposed to when a nonenjoyable means is instrumental for an approach goal or an enjoyable means is instrumental for an avoidance goal ("non-fit" conditions; Study 3). I discuss potential mechanisms, as well as consequences for means choice and self-regulation more broadly. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)