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Summary: According to researchers, making backup plans can reduce goal performance and could hurt your chances of achieving your ultimate goal.
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison.
When it comes to setting organizational and personal goals, making a backup plan has been seen as a sensible way to deal with uncertainty — to be prepared if things don’t go as expected.
However, new research from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison challenges that conventional wisdom and finds that merely thinking through a backup plan can reduce goal performance and actually hurt the chances of successfully achieving your goal.
Jihae Shin, assistant professor of management and human resources at the school, together with Katherine L. Milkman of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a series of experiments that showed making a backup plan can cause people not to work as hard and to be less successful at attaining their primary goal./.../