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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the literature on congruence between implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) motives. The conventional wisdom that implicit and explicit motives are statistically independent is shown to be incorrect. Meta-analyses of past studies indicate that, on average, implicit and explicit motives are weakly positively correlated rather than uncorrelated. The correlation becomes stronger when methodological shortcomings of past research, such as unreliability of measurement, are overcome. Nevertheless, the relation remains modest enough that the discrepancy between implicit and explicit motives carries important information about personality congruence. The relation between implicit and explicit motives has been found to vary systematically as a function of substantive moderator variables, such as self-determination, self-monitoring, and body awareness. Motive congruence is predicted distally by satisfaction of basic needs during childhood and proximally by stress among individuals who have difficulty regulating affect. Motive congruence predicts important outcomes, including volitional strength, flow, well-being, healthy eating, and relationship stability. The chapter closes with a discussion of future research directions, such as the distinction between congruence and integration constructs.

Keywords: motive congruence, incongruence, implicit motives, explicit motives, moderators, self-determination, self-monitoring, well-being, personality, motivation

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