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This study uses two experiments to explore the extent to which goal pursuits affect automatic motor responses. At the beginning of each experiment, participants were given experiences that induced certain goal states. Participants then completed a lexical decision task in which they responded (using approach and avoidance arm movements) to stimuli consistent with, irrelevant to, or in opposition to achieving their goal. Of interest was whether facilitation of the responses occurred when the direction of the movement (approaching or avoiding the stimuli) was consistent with achieving one's goal (and whether inhibition of the responses occurred when the direction of the movement was in opposition to one achieve one's goal). The results of both experiments show that participants' responses were not affected by their goal-states as predicted. Possible explanations are discussed.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Michael Kaschak, Professor Directing Thesis; Joyce Ehrlinger, Committee Member; Colleen Kelley, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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