Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Human behavior is directed at goals. Although goal pursuit is traditionally regarded as an endeavor that requires conscious awareness, experimental evidence in psychology suggests that human goal pursuit can originate and unfold in the unconscious. Accordingly, goal-directed behavior could be motivated outside conscious awareness in the current situation or environment. This chapter reviews past and current research examining the evidence for such unconscious motivation of goal-directed behavior. The review is organized around two themes. The first theme deals with research that analyzes goal pursuit as automated behaviors, thereby addressing the operational function of repetition for motivated processes in directing and controlling behavior in the absence of conscious awareness. The second theme concerns the quest of understanding the unconscious sources of human goal pursuit and includes a discussion of recent work on reward cueing, aimed at addressing the question of how reward signals in the environment can motivate behavior outside awareness.

Keywords: rewards, unconscious processes, motivation, regulation, priming

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.