Kawada, C., Oettingen, G., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Bargh, J. A. (2004). The projection of implicit and explicit goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 545-559.
In 3 studies, the authors analyzed whether projection occurs for both conscious and nonconscious goals. In Experiment 1, participants who were predisposed to hold a learning goal over a performance goal rated others as possessing more of a learning goal. In Experiment 2, participants who were either implicitly primed with or explicitly assigned to have the goal to compete perceived others as striving for competitive goals more than control participants. In Experiment 3, the authors demonstrated that it was the actual goal to compete rather than the trait construct of competitiveness that was projected. The control of automatic goal projection effects is discussed, and interpersonal consequences of goal projection are delineated.