A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Human Goals
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Motivation and Emotion 25 (3): 191--232 (September 2001)

This paper presents a hierarchical taxonomy of human goals, based on similarity judgments of 135 goals gleaned from the literature. Women and men in 3 age groups—17–30, 25–62, and 65 and older—sorted the goals into conceptually similar groups. These were cluster analyzed and a taxonomy of 30 goal clusters was developed for each age group separately and for the total sample. The clusters were conceptually meaningful and consistent across the 3 samples. The broadest distinction in each sample was between interpersonal or social goals and intrapersonal or individual goals, with interpersonal goals divided into family-related and more general social goals. Further, the 30 clusters were organized into meaningful higher order clusters. The role of such a taxonomy in promoting theory development and research is discussed, as is its relationship to other organizations of human goals and to the Big Five structure of personality. ER -
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