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Symbolic self-completion refers to having or seeking social symbols of achievement regarding a goal important to one's self-identity. R. A. Wicklund and P. M. Gollwitzer's symbolic self-completion theory was based on the pioneering work of Kurt Lewin and his collaborators. Wicklund and Gollwitzer posited that once an individual commits to a goal, psychological tension exists until the goal is achieved. If the individual engages in a task to accomplish the goal but is interrupted, the tension will motivate a return to the task or to a substitute task that could also lead to goal accomplishment. Personality psychologists, beginning with Alfred Adler, proposed a similar notion of substitutability in their concept of compensation, in which the individual compensates for perceived deficiencies through renewed efforts in ...

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