Crocker, J., & Canevello, A. (2008). Creating and undermining social support in communal relationships: The role of compassionate and self-image goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 555-575.
Primary use / Purpose:
Compassionate and self-image goals are defined not by content, but by process; specifically, the intentions one has toward others while pursuing important goals. When people have self-image goals, they want to construct, maintain, and defend desired public and private images of the self to obtain social goods from others. When people have compassionate goals they want to be a constructive force in their interactions with others and avoid harming others; they consider others' needs, and the impact of their behavior on others.
There is strong evidence for convergent and divergent validity of the goals with the beliefs, self-relevant variables, relationship style variables, and Big 5 personality factors. Both scales had high internal consistency each week of the study, and there is strong evidence for the validity of the scale since average self-image goals predicted conflict, loneliness, and feeling afraid and confused; compassionate goals attenuated these effects, and changes in weekly goals predicted changes in goal-related affect, closeness, loneliness, conflict, and beliefs about mutual and individualistic caring.