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Introduction

Why do some people spend their time thinking about accomplishing tasks whereas others tend to reflect on their relationships? What personal characteristics determine whether people will flourish versus flounder in particular domains? Why are some people successful at reaching their personal goals whereas others fail when faced with distractions and obstacles? Why do some individuals display enhanced well-being after reaching their goals whereas others do not? These are the types of questions that motivational researchers have sought to answer over the past 50 years. The classic approach to these questions involved the assessment of individual differences in the strength of psychological needs for achievement, affiliation, and power. Such needs were conceptualized as relatively stable dispositions that are learned early in life and that predispose individuals ...

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