A goal is whatever one strives to achieve or avoid. It can be defined as the outcome that an individual aspires to accomplish to satisfy certain needs, wishes, and desires. Motivation, which underlies all goals, is the psychological force that drives individuals to achieve a specific outcome. Motivation can come from experiencing internal rewards inherent in the process of goal pursuit (e.g., enjoyment from learning new language as in intrinsic motivation) or from external rewards related to achieving a goal (e.g., learning a language to get a better job as in extrinsic motivation).

Goals vary across the entire lifespan. At different phases of life, people face various developmental tasks, challenges, and opportunities that influence the kinds of goals they construct and pursue. This entry describes goal ...

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