Goal Taxonomy

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(To increase positive affect/hedonism (Happiness Lit/Schwartz))
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== To increase positive affect/hedonism (Happiness Lit/Schwartz) ==
== To increase positive affect/hedonism (Happiness Lit/Schwartz) ==
== To be stimulated (Schwartz Stimulation)
== To be stimulated (Schwartz Stimulation) ==
== To feel present/flow (Happiness Lit) ==
== To feel present/flow (Happiness Lit) ==

Revision as of 20:35, 13 February 2008

I believe that perhaps a strict heirarchy where each goal can only satisfy one higher order need is perhaps too limiting. Perhaps allowing people to put a goal in multiple categories or rate a goal in terms of how much it satisfies one of many higher order goals would allow more flexibility. For example, some people may marry because it makes them happy...and it makes their family happy...and they believe in tradition....and to force them to put it in one box may be premature.


To Be Happy (what is good for me)

To feel competent (Basic Psych Need)

To amass power (Schwartz Value)

To achieve something (Schwartz Value)

To feel autonomy/self direction (Schwartz/Basic Psych Need)

To feel loyal/related (MFQ/Schwartz/Basic Psych Need)

To reduce negative affect (Happiness Lit)

To increase positive affect/hedonism (Happiness Lit/Schwartz)

To be stimulated (Schwartz Stimulation)

To feel present/flow (Happiness Lit)

To Feel Moral (what is good for others)

To respect tradition (MFQ/Schwartz)

To feel loyal/related (MFQ/Schwartz/Basic Psych Need)

To obey authority (MFQ/Schwartz conformity)

To do what is "natural"/divine (MFQ)

To help others (MFQ Harm/Schwartz Benevolence)

To be fair (MFQ/Schwartz Universality)

Older categories

Sex and Romance

(a) Emotional intimacy, feeling really meshed with my romantic partner. (b) Mature romantic: Having a mature romantic relationship Use 1a (c) Being able to attract, please, sexually excite a sexual partner (d) Having an erotic relationship (relationship based on sex) (e) Having/Enjoying sexual experiences (f) Being in love (g) Having/enjoying romantic experiences

Marriage If they are talking about children/family along with marriage/spouse, use one of the 3’s (Family).

(a) Having a good marriage (b) Being close to my spouse


(a) Providing for one’s family (b) Being a good parent (teaching, providing, transmitting values) (c) Being emotionally close to my children. (d) Having a stable, secure family life (with my spouse or children, or both). (e) (f) Receiving help from my parents, siblings, grandparents (g) Living physically close to my parents, siblings, grandparents. (h) Feeling close to family: Feeling close to my parents, siblings, grandparents (i) Taking care of family: Taking care of my parents, siblings, grandparents.

Physical appearance

(a) Being clean, neat (personal care) (b) Looking distinguished, Carrying myself well (c) Looking young. a. [COULD WE COLLAPSE THESE INTO SOME MORE GENERAL GOAL OF WANTING TO LOOK GOOD??] (d) Being good looking: Being good looking. (e) Fashion: Keeping up with fashion[SHOULD BE SOME WAY TO COMBINE THESE]

Physical health (“fitness” and “health”)

(a) Looking physically fit. (b) Being physiologically healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods. (c) Exercising regularly, being physically active,. (d) Being physically fit, in good physical condition. (e) Having physical ability, agility.

To do my daily/routine activities (e.g. get out of bed, feed the dog, do the shopping). Also, to maintain a familiar routine

Belonging, social recognition and approval

(a) Being popular, Being in the center of things (b) Having a rich, active, social life. (c) Being socially attractive, exciting, fascinating. (d) Entertaining, Amusing others. (e) Being admired, recognized or respected by others. (f) Knowing and being on familiar terms with many others. (g) Belonging to social groups, feeling like part of a group. (h) Being likeable, making friends, drawing others near.

To be around people a lot (or not be alone), or interact (connect, contact etc.) with many people.

To get some respect.

To get reassurance (to be assured that I’m okay).

To be informal or casual.

Avoiding Sociability and Social Assertiveness

To blend in or avoid being noticed. Include avoiding “attention” or “limelight.” Also include being “quiet” in order to avoid being noticed; otherwise use “To be quiet.”

To avoid other people. This includes not being around them, not interacting with them (include “aloof”), not becoming emotionally attached to them, and not having to depend on them (e.g. “independence”).


To be loud.

To have someone hear me. The focus is on having someone else be there to hear me. Include “being heard,” “having someone listen to me,” and “having someone to talk to.”

To communicate or express myself. It may involve “talking” or other means of communication. It may involve communicating many different things (e.g. ideas, emotions, desires). It may focus on my ability to express myself or it may focus on having someone else understand me (e.g. “get my point across,” “be understood”). If it’s about being heard, use “To have someone hear me.”

To strategically influence how others think of me, including getting pity (“sympathy”), self-handicapping, hiding something (e.g. feelings, attitudes, low self-esteem), or to look like I’m working.

To avoid talking.

To be quiet. For being quiet in order to avoid being noticed, use “To blend in.”

To listen.

Friendship (having friends and being close to them).

(a) Sharing feelings with close friends. a. [WOULD IT MAKE MORE SENSE TO STATE THIS IN TERMS OF CLOSENESS AND INTIMACY?] (b) Having friends: Having friends I love, close companionship (c) Being affectionate: Being affectionate toward others

Receiving from others

(a) Being taken care of in general. (b) Having a mentor, someone to guide me (c) Having others to rely on (focus here is on having people available) (d) Receiving support from others on projects I believe in

To be self-centered or selfish (include “inflated ego,” “self service,” “self gratification”). This is about “getting what I want” or “having things go my way.” Sometimes it may involve getting what I want regardless of how it affects others or even if it hurts others.

To have others give me what I need/want. This may involve taking advantage of others, as in “using” them or “sponging off” them. Also include getting something for nothing. For getting others to do my work, use “To avoid effort or work.”

Defense vs. rejection

(a) Avoiding rejection by others (b) Defending myself against others’ criticisms or attacks

To justify myself, my beliefs, or my actions.

Positive social qualities

(a) Being respected by others Use 6c (b) Having other people trust you. (c) Being honest.

Being humble.

Teaching and helping others

(a) Setting good examples for others (b) Helping others, cooperating, giving support. (c) Teaching others (teaching, sharing knowledge) (d) Being in control of my physical environment.

To be selfless: put others first or let them get away with something.

To care for others or take care of others.


To understand other people or what they are going through.

To have empathy.

Pro-social Goals

To make others happy or to please others.

To avoid hurting (annoying, upsetting, etc.) others.

To avoid conflict (disagreement, animosity, etc.) with others.

Antisocial Goals

To hurt others or make them feel bad.

To cause conflict (chaos, trouble) between people.

Provoking a reaction

To shock people (particularly “square” or “normal” people).

To get revenge (“get even,” “get back,” etc.)


(a) Being better than others, beating others. (b) Influencing, persuading others. (c) Making decisions for others (d) Having control over others. (e) Being a leader, being in charge

To persuade others (or change how they think or do things).


(a) Achieving salvation (b) Engaging in religious traditions (c) Pleasing God (d) Maintaining religious faith

Social awareness

(a) Being charitable, helping the needy. (b) Making a lasting contribution to society. (c) Being committed to a cause (e.g., earth, environment, anticrime, antidrugs) (d) Seeking equality, brotherhood, equal opportunity for all. (e) Seeking justice. (f) Seeking fairness.


Ethics and idealism.

(a) Being an ethical person: loyal, respectful, courteous, considerate with others. (b) Having firm values or strong beliefs. (c) Standing up for my beliefs (d) Pursuing my ideals, fighting for things I believe in a. [AREN’T THESE ALL VARIANTS OF EACH OTHER??]


(a) Being free (being a free person) (b) Having freedom of choice


(a) Experiencing a world of beauty (going to museums, concerts, being with nature) (b) Learning more about art (c) Appreciating the arts


(a) Being curious, inspecting, learning (b) Having original, novel ideas (c) Being creative (e.g., artistically, scientifically, intellectually).

Flexibility, openness and excitement

(a) Not being fearful, being able to take risks. (b) Having flexibility of viewpoint, being broad-minded, open (c) Being unique, different, exceptional (d) Being able to fantasize: Being able to fantasize, imagine (e) Being really passionate about something (f) Being innovative in the way I live my life (g) Seeking new things, exploring, being adventurous. (h) Having new and different experiences Use 19g (i) Having an exciting, stimulating life (j) Being spontaneous

To live for today. This is about focusing on immediate needs rather than making long terms plans. It may involve going for a quick or easy payoff, or doing things without thinking ahead about the consequences. This is about getting the most out of the moment; if it’s about scraping by, go to “To just get by….” If it’s specifically about not having goals, go to “To not have goals.” If it specifically relates to money, go to “To not stress about money….”


(a) Devoting time to amusements, having recreation, entertainment, hobbies. (b) Being carefree, lighthearted, enjoying life. (c) Being playful, cheerful, acting for fun.

Psychological well-being

(a) Protecting my well-being, avoiding pain. a. THIS IS A GENERAL VERSION OF THE FOLLOWING 3 MORE SPECIFIC ONES. (b) Avoiding stress (c) Avoiding feelings of guilt (d) Avoiding failure (e) [DON’T WE HAVE “AVOIDING CONFLICT” ABOVE?]

Stability and safety

(a) Having an easy and comfortable life. (b) Feeling safe and secure. a. AVOIDING DANGER?? (c) Being conventional, avoiding new things (d) Having stability in life, avoiding change, adhering to my ways and life style (e) Accepting life’s limitations, “accepting what life gives you.” (f) Overcoming failure, putting myself back on my feet after a failure (g) Keeping to myself, being private

To accept myself, other people, or things as they are. Include being “tolerant” and “non-judgmental.” Include accepting my limitations.

Higher meaning

(a) Finding higher meaning in life, coherence, harmony, oneness.

Personal growth

(a) Being mentally healthy (b) Having peace of mind. Use 24d (c) Having high self-image, self-esteem, self-respect, feeling good about myself. (d) Being happy, content with myself, having inner harmony, (e) Knowing myself: Knowing myself, being in touch or “in tune” with myself (f) Having wisdom. Having a mature understanding of life. (g) Mature understanding: Having a mature understanding of life. Use 24f (h) Achieving personal growth.

Don’t worry or be happy. This is about avoiding negative emotions (including anxiety) or maximizing positive emotions (including being relaxed). Include things I can do in order to avoid troubles or enhance my happiness (e.g. not let annoying people bother me). For making others happy, use “To make others happy…”

To get in tune with my emotions. This is about being knowledgeable about or aware of my emotions.


(a) Having mechanical ability (b) Keeping things in order (my desk, office, house, etc.).

To keep things manageable.

To attend to details (“meticulous”).


(a) Achieving my aspirations. [THIS MAY BE TOO GENERAL. IT'S LIKE SAYING “ACHIEVING MY GOALS.] (b) Being ambitious, hard-working. (c) Accomplishing difficult things, overcoming challenges.

To accomplish something, get something done (not necessarily something big, just whatever needs to be done). Also, to do a good job or be effective at work.

To strive for more/better or perfection.

To set goals or achieve them.

To make plans or prepare for action (include “be prepared”). This can involve thinking ahead (projecting into the future, anticipating potential problems) or organizing what I’m going to do (include “making lists”). This can involve thinking through things, but only in the context of making plans or preparing for action. For thinking that is related to decision making, use “To carefully think through decisions.” For thinking that is not related to planning, preparing for action, or making decisions, use “To think….” For plans made in order to get revenge, use “To get revenge.”

To be busy or active. Also, to do many things at once.

Laziness and Minimalism

To not have/set goals.

To just get by, get through the day/week/crisis, or to survive. Also, to make do with the minimum/necessities or just average/whatever, or not strive for better.

To avoid effort or work, find a way around it or get someone else to do it.

To procrastinate.

Self-sufficiency and self-determination

(a) Being logical, consistent, rational. (b) Being practical, having common sense. (c) Being reflective, not impulsive (d) Being responsible, dependable. (e) Being disciplined, following through with projects I start, following my intentions with behavior. (f) Being self-sufficient, independent, self-reliant (g) Setting and following my own guidelines

Responsibility and Accountability

To fulfill obligations, commitments, or expectations.

To enforce accountability: make sure myself or others take responsibility for the good or bad things we do.

To avoid responsibility. Include following others (rather than being a leader), following instructions, letting others be in charge, not taking initiative, or avoiding making decisions.


To do things quickly.

To be on time or on schedule.

To be efficient or make good use of time (or not waste time).

To take as long as necessary and not hurry.


To control myself (e.g. “self control,” “controlling my future,” “controlling my emotions”)

To be true to myself (know who I am and not follow the crowd).

Be less shy or more assertive.


(a) Keeping up to date with career-related knowledge. (b) Having a job I really like or having a good job. (c) Having a career/job/work (d) Being successful or doing well in career/job.

Intellect and education

(a) Having intellectual experiences, conversations, discussing interesting topics (b) Being able to think intellectually (handle data, extract ideas, devise hypotheses, analyze, synthesize information). (c) Being intelligent or “smart.” (d) Obtaining an advanced educational degree. (e) Getting an education

To read.

To think, analyze and understand things. This is about thinking etc as an intellectual pursuit or as part of solving problems or puzzles. For thinking etc as part of making plans or preparing for action, use “To make plans.” For thinking etc as part of making a decision, use “To carefully think through decisions.” For understanding other people, use “To understand other people.…”

To be smart.

To be alert or attentive. This involves being aware of what’s going on around me and ready to react. Include ways of doing it, like “observing,” “being aware,” and “watching for oncoming traffic.”

To carefully think through decisions.

To get things “right” (accurate, correct, true or factual).

To be less emotional or more rational (logical, practical, etc.).


(a) Having enough money to leave for my descendants. (b) Being able to meet my financial needs, not worry about bills, expenses, etc. (c) Making a lot of money. (d) Buying things I WANT.

To not stress about money. This may involve living for today if it specifically relates to money.

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