A meta-analysis of the dark side of the American dream: Evidence for the universal wellness costs of prioritizing extrinsic over intrinsic goals.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 124(4), Apr 2023, 873-899; doi:10.1037/pspp0000431

Self-determination theory holds that the intrinsic and extrinsic content of people’s aspirations differentially affect their wellness. An evidence base spanning nearly 30 years indicates that focusing on intrinsic goals (such as for growth, relationships, community giving, and health) promotes well-being, whereas a focus on extrinsic goals (such as for wealth, fame, and beauty) deters well-being. Yet, the evidence base contains exceptions …

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