The structure of goal contents across 15 cultures

Frederick M.E. Grouzet, Tim Kasser, Aaron Ahuvia, José Miguel Fernández Dols, Youngmee Kim, Sing Lau, Richard M. Ryan, Shaun Saunders, Peter Schmuck, Kennon M. Sheldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

514 Scopus citations


The authors investigated the structure of goal contents in a group of 1,854 undergraduates from 15 cultures around the world. Results suggested that the 11 types of goals the authors assessed were consistently organized in a circumplex fashion across the 15 cultures. The circumplex was well described by positing 2 primary dimensions underlying the goals: intrinsic (e.g., self-acceptance, affiliation) versus extrinsic (e.g., financial success, image) and self-transcendent (e.g., spirituality) versus physical (e.g., hedonism). The circumplex model of goal contents was also quite similar in both wealthier and poorer nations, although there were some slight cross-cultural variations. The relevance of these results for several theories of motivation and personality are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-816
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Circumplex structure
  • Cross-cultural research
  • Intrinsic-extrinsic goals
  • Motivation
  • Self-determination theory


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