Possible Selves

Possible Selves (Oyserman & Saltz, 1993). The child is first asked to list expectations for the coming year, how they plan to achieve these expectations, and finally to rate the likelihood of achieving these expectations. In the second part of the measure, the child is asked to list all of the things they would like to avoid in the coming year, how they plan to achieve this, and finally to rate the likelihood of avoiding these behaviors.


The Possible Selves measure asks participants to list up to 4 goals s/he would like to accomplish during the upcoming year (e.g., make good grades). For each goal, the participant is asked (1) what behavior s/he needs to do to accomplish that goal (e.g., study more) and (2) what behavior s/he needs to avoid doing to accomplish the goal (e.g., being a bad student). Responses to these questions are open-ended responses. Participants are then asked to rate how likely it is that s/he will engage in the behaviors listed in (1) and (2) using a 6-point scale ranging from 0 (not at all likely) to 5 (very likely). Only numeric answers were analyzed for this technical report. The analyst is referred to the raw datasets to examine or code open-ended responses.

On this measure, participants report their beliefs about their abilities to engage in behaviors that will help them accomplish a goal while also avoiding behaviors that would get in the way of them accomplishing that same goal. Participants provided both open-ended and numeric responses on this measure. Only numeric responses were analyzed. The low-risk normative and high-risk control samples did not differ on their numeric responses about their likelihood of engaging in or avoiding behaviors required to accomplish their goals.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: CxAI
Scored Dataset Name: PSSySCc


Goal Orientation, Aspirations, Expectations, Self Concept, Values