TitleMixed Emotions Within the Context of Goal Pursuit.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMejía, ST, Hooker, K
JournalCurr Opin Behav Sci
Date Published06/2017

Development in adulthood occurs through the process of setting and working toward goals. Emotions link experiences to goals and action, and as such are integral to goal setting, evaluation of goal progress, and goal pursuit. When viewed in the context of goals, the simultaneous experience of positive and negative or "mixed" emotions coheres with the complexity of goal pursuit within the context of competing demands in daily life. Mixed emotions may be experienced as uncertainty in which goal to prioritize, ambiguity in whether an event served or impeded goal progress, or poignancy in a bittersweet moment of recognizing the losses that accompany gains. Mixed emotions therefore represent a problem that must be resolved-through either prioritization of conflicting goals, down-playing negative affective response, or goal disengagement-before goal pursuit can continue. Because mixed emotions must be resolved before they can be translated to action, the experience of mixed emotions may evoke a new awareness of priorities and available options that leads to better goal outcomes. Over time, openness to mixed emotions could result in outcomes such as better health and self-actualization.

Alternate JournalCurr Opin Behav Sci
PubMed ID29201977
PubMed Central IDPMC5703421
Grant ListR01 AG040635 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States