In May, when I spoke with the psychologist Gabriele Oettingen at the Psychological Science convention, she’d recently navigated her way out of a common dilemma.
There she was at the convention, eager to discuss her own research and attend other psychologists’ presentations. At the same time, she had a bunch of manuscripts to write and review. She couldn’t possibly give her full attention to both the conference and the papers. She couldn’t do two things at once.
And so she WOOPed.
That is, she engaged in a process of setting a goal and planning for ways to achieve it.
“WOOP” is a strategy that Oettingen – a professor at New York University and the University of Hamburg – and her colleagues developed. It stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan. (The less-catchy term is “mental contrasting.”)
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