Evaluation of the Happiness Through Goal-Setting Training

Psychol Rep. 2023 Aug;126(4):1910-1932. doi: 10.1177/00332941211071007. Epub 2022 Mar 22.


This paper describes the evaluation of the Happiness through Goal-Setting Training, a multiple intervention approach which helps participants to reflect on, and modify their reasons for goal pursuit. The training is theoretically grounded in the goal-striving reasons framework. This framework captures four important reasons for goal pursuit and has received a substantial amount of empirical support for its predictive power in relation to positive psychological functioning. The four goal-striving reasons are the pursuit of goals out of pleasure, altruism, fear of self-esteem loss or necessity. The evaluation of the training, employing a before-and-after study design, is based on two data sets comprising data from a face-to-face delivery of the training (N = 41) and an online delivery of the training (N = 40). Overall, the findings from both studies, using paired sample t-tests, show that the Happiness through Goal-Setting Training significantly improves the quality of people's reasons for goal pursuit as well as their positive psychological functioning measured through life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect and work-engagement. Thus, the Happiness through Goal-Setting Training complements the existing suite of well-being interventions by providing a happiness training that focusses specifically on improving people's reasons for goal-pursuit.

Keywords: evaluation; goal-striving reasons framework; happiness training; subjective well-being; work engagement.

MeSH terms

  • Goals*
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Pleasure
  • Self Concept