Zita Mayer

LIFE Zurich

LIFE Fellow since 2018, University of Zurich

I am a doctoral student at the University of Zurich, working under the guidance of Alexandra M. Freund (chair “Developmental Psychology: Adulthood"). My research interests center on self-regulatory processes involved in successful development across the life-span. In my master’s thesis, I sought to elucidate how people guide their development through selecting, maintaining, and ending personal goal pursuits within and in interaction with their diverse developmental contexts. To this end, I explored how goal-directed actions and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics intersect in positive youth development. In my dissertation research, I am examining life-span variation in self-regulatory actions people employ to adaptively manage multiple goal pursuits. Currently, I am especially interested in exploring psychological benefits and costs of temporarily prioritizing some goal pursuits over others. I am also interested in exploring within-and between-person dynamics of motivational attention in young, middle-aged, and older adults, using data from an intensive longitudinal study headed by Alexandra M. Freund and Derek M. Isaacowitz. I completed both my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Modern History (2015) and my master’s degree in Psychology (2017) at the University of Zurich.

Dissertation project:

Goal shelving: Motivational consequences of prioritizing some goal pursuits over others


Mayer, Z., & Freund, A. M. (2022). Better off without? Benefits and costs of resolving goal conflict through goal shelving and goal disengagement. Motivation and Emotion, 46(6), 790-805. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-022-09966-x

Mayer, Z., & Freund, A. M. (2021). Self-control from a multiple goal perspective of mixed reward options. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 44, Article E48. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X20000916

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