The shifting preference for contingent rewards in goal pursuit.

This research explored a dynamic self-control process and examined people’s preference for contingent rewards during and after the completion of an active focal task. We found that during the completion of such a task, people tend to prefer choice options that undermine their chronic goals as postcompletion rewards. However, by the time that people have completed the focal task and obtained the rewards that they had desired, these options seem less attractive because the chronic goals, which were inhibited by the focal task when people craved the reward, have rebounded in priority. The choice of a chronic-goal-violating reward further provides motivation during people’s focal task, and the later switch after the completion of the focal task helps people to get back on track in terms of their pursuit of the chronic goal. We then discuss the implications of the results for understanding time-inconsistent preferences, adaptive self-regulation, goal-based valuations, and the dynamic nature of temptations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)