Dikla Sasson a M.Sc student investigates the puzzling interrelationships between gender differences and goal setting. The participants in her study described life domains in which they strive for high standards and the specific goals they have in these life domains. The results indicated that men and women had different orientations when setting goals that they wish to pursue: Women set more diverse goals in varied life domains and were more focused on others’ welfare than men. I.e., it is more important for women to help and care for others, resulting in more other-focused goals (e.g., helping family and friends, being a good and loving partner). However, there were no gender differences in the self-focused goals. Women set self-focused goals related to power and achievement (e.g., success in higher education, being successful and excellent at work, having a successful business) to the same degree as men. It seems that there could be some progressiveness over the years regarding gender roles in a society. Women today set personal excellence goals like men; however, they do not give up the traditional roles and strive to excel in them as well.
Dikla conduted her research with the guidance of Assistant Professor Andrey Elster.