Johnson, S. L., & Carver, C. S. (2006). Extreme goal setting and vulnerability to mania among undiagnosed young adults. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 30, 377-395.
During euthymia people with bipolar disorder and their unaffected
family members accomplish more than the general population. People with
bipolar disorder, or who are at risk for it, also set higher goals in
laboratory tasks than other people. The work reported here examines
whether persons vulnerable to mania set elevated goals in their lives.
In two studies, a measure of lifetime vulnerability to mania was
related to traits bearing on incentive sensitivity, and also to
endorsement of high ambitions for fame, wealth, and political influence
(assessed by a new measure). Relations were weaker to ambitions for
other kinds of extreme goals. The effects were independent of current
symptoms of mania and depression and lifetime depression. There was
also evidence that incentive sensitivity and elevated aspirations made
independent contributions to variance in the measure of manic
risk. Discussion focuses on the implications of high goal setting
for understanding goal dysregulation and mania.
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