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Is motivational conflict always bad? The diagnostic function of feeling torn between competing action alternatives
Grund, Axel; Senker, Kerstin; Galla, Brian et al.


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Keywords :
conflict reactivity; emerging adulthood; mindfulness; motivational conflicts; self-regulation
Abstract :
[en] In the present contribution, we put forth the idea that situations of motivational conflict can serve a diagnostic function and hence must not be detrimental to well-being, when separating mere conflict experience from the self-evaluative reactions towards these experiences. Drawing on ecologically valid data from experience-sampling, we found that between-person differences (N = 107 German university students) in daily conflict reactivity but not want and should conflict experiences per se predicted positive and negative affect after the experience-sampling period. These effects remained stable while controlling for students’ earlier trait and state affective well-being. We also found that the link between aggregated conflict experience and conflict reactivity was smaller for more mindful students. Our findings thereby highlight self-regulation processes concerned with self-insight rather than self-restraint, which may be particularly adaptive in emerging adulthood. Processing motivational conflict experiences mindfully may help to gain more clarity about one’s values, goals, and needs, information that is critical to proactively shape one’s life to the better.
Disciplines :
Social, industrial & organizational psychology
Author, co-author :
Grund, Axel  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > LUCET
Senker, Kerstin
Galla, Brian
Fries, Stefan
Language :
Title :
Is motivational conflict always bad? The diagnostic function of feeling torn between competing action alternatives
Publication date :
11 March 2023
Event name :
Event organizer :
Event place :
Brussels, Belgium
Event date :
Audience :
Available on ORBilu :
since 17 July 2023


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