Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Vicarious Goal Satiation Seminar

16:00 - 18:00
22 January 2015
University of Southampton Highfield Campus Building 44 (Shackleton Building) Level 1, Room 1087

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Coral Abraham or Allyson Marchi at; .

Event details

Visiting Speaker - Autumn Psychology Seminar Series

Conventional wisdom tells us that success breeds success. However, research has found that observing people achieving goals can lead observers to strive less on their own goals (i.e. vicarious goal satiation, McCulloch et al., 2011). The prominent and ubiquitous role of technology in social interaction means that the possibility of observing others’ goal attainment is potentially widespread. The key problem is that observers are completely unaware that their performance is hampered, and therefore cannot correct for this problem themselves. In my talk I will explore the basic phenomenon of vicarious goal satiation and discuss new research that asks the following questions. Will the effect of observation on goal-striving be exacerbated by human physical, motor, and social similarities or will dissimilarities protect against this phenomenon? Can behavioural synchrony (or joint movement), which is normally employed to foster empathy and team-building in attempt to bolster productivity, ironically lead to worse performance? Lastly, can experiencing power, which has been shown to lead to a lack of empathy, serve as a barrier to being influenced by other people’s success? Lastly, I will discuss the practical implications of this research.  

Speaker information

Dr Kathleen Cameron McCulloch, Lancaster University. My research primarily concerns how nonconscious goals operate throughout the goal trajectory and how these goals are managed. I am also interested in the effects of the social milieu on an individual's goal strivings.

Privacy Settings