• decision enactment;
  • motivation;
  • goal-setting;
  • goal-striving


Decision scientists tend to focus mainly on decision antecedents, studying how people make decisions. Action psychologists, in contrast, study post-decision issues, investigating how decisions, once formed, are maintained, protected, and enacted. Through the research presented here, we seek to bridge these two disciplines, proposing that the process by which decisions are reached motivates subsequent pursuit and benefits eventual realization. We identify three characteristics of the decision process (DP) as having motivation-mustering potential: DP effort investment, DP importance, and DP confidence. Through two field studies tracking participants' decision processes, pursuit and realization, we find that after controlling for the influence of the motivational mechanisms of goal intention and implementation intention, the three decision process characteristics significantly influence the successful enactment of the chosen decision directly. The the oretical and practical implications of these findings are considered and future research opportunities are identified. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.