Goal Difficulty and Openness to Interpersonal Goal Support

Righetti, Francesca; Kumashiro, Madoka and Campbell, Sarah B.. 2014. Goal Difficulty and Openness to Interpersonal Goal Support. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(9), pp. 1107-1118. ISSN 0146-1672 [Article]

Rigettie et al 2014 goal difficulty.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (549kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

When people pursue important goals, they are often surrounded by close others who could provide help and support for the achievement of these goals. The present work investigated whether people are more likely to be open to such interpersonal goal support from a romantic partner when they perceive their goals as being easy versus difficult. Using a multiple methods approach, three studies revealed that, compared with the pursuit of easy goals, when people pursue difficult goals, they are less likely to seek out and be open to support from their romantic partner. Studies 2 and 3 revealed that the effect of goal difficulty on openness to support was partially mediated by loss in self-efficacy. Finally, Study 3 revealed that lack of openness to support can have detrimental long-term consequences for the relationship, as it undermines relationship well-being.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Additional Information:

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (No. 451-12-024) to Francesca Righetti, and by grants from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0132398) to Caryl Rusbult.


goal difficulty, interpersonal goal support, visible support, close relationships, self-efficacy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 September 2014Published
22 May 2014Published Online
23 April 2014Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Jan 2017 12:26

Last Modified:

15 Jun 2021 07:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)