Gollwitzer, P. M. (2003). Why we thought that action mindsets affect illusions of control. Psychological Inquiry, 14, 259-267.
Gollwitzer and Kinney (1989) proposed the following hypothesis: People who ponder a goal decision (i.e., to either pursue Goal A or B, or to pursue either Goal A or stay passive) develop a deliberative mind-set that allows them to accurately assess whether a desired outcome can be controlled by their actions or not, whereas people who are planning the pursuit of a chosen goal develop a mind-set that fosters illusionary optimism with respect to controlling this outcome. Deviating from the usual course of presentation, I start with describing how we tested this hypothesis and with what results. As we are dealing with a set of studies classified as an overlooked gem, it seems appropriate to first describe the research and its findings. Then I turn to my recollection of how we arrived at this hypothesis. Finally, I address the implications of the Gollwitzer and Kinney findings and how they keep stimulating present research on self-regulation.