How Recollections of Positive and Negative Support Provision Experiences Influence Goal Motivation

Recently, positive psychology has caught much attention and is a thriving field. The specific area of positive event support is a major topic being studied. Most of these studies, however focus on the benefits of receiving support rather than how providing support can motivate oneself. The title of the project is “How Recollections of Positive and Negative Support Provision Experiences Influence Goal Motivation”. The purpose of this study is to determine whether providing positive support or even recalling a time when one provided positive support for someone’s positive event has an effect on the supporter in their own life and goal motivations.

I expect to learn that recalling a time of providing support for someone’s positive event will motivate the supporter to work harder and more enthusiastically to reach their own goals. In addition to hoping to learn the expected outcomes, I hope to learn and gain more experience about running a psychology study by coding data and conducting analyses on this work. Overall, there are numerous opportunities to expand my psychology studies through this project and I plan to take full advantage of them all.
The methods that will be employed in this study include participants coming to the lab for a two part study. During the first part, participants will be asked to describe personal and health goals they are planning to work on throughout the semester. The study participants will be asked to return to the lab weeks later to complete the second part of the study. This consists of writing and reflecting on a time when they provided positive support to someone in response to either a positive event (e.g. receiving a good grade) or a negative event (e.g. failing a test). In addition to that some will be asked to write about a neutral topic (e.g. describing a dorm room). After this the participants will respond to questions regarding their goals from the first part of the study. This will allow us to see how recalling past events affects how motivated one is to achieve their own goals.
It is exciting to be working in a field that is growing at a fast rate. Positive event support is important in many areas and can be used in practical ways. This research has the power to help students and employees enhance motivation and assist them to reach their full potential by knowing that providing positive support boosts their motivation to reaching their goals.

Rachel Platko