Deutsch: Ziel / Español: Objetivo / Português: Objetivo / Français: Objectif / Italiano: Obiettivo

An objective is an agreement among independent judges, scorers, or observers.

Objective in the psychology context refers to a goal or aim that guides behavior and decision-making processes. In psychological terms, objectives are essential for directing motivation, structuring plans, and measuring progress in therapy, personal development, and various psychological interventions.


Objectives in psychology are clear, concise targets set to achieve specific outcomes. These can be related to various aspects of psychological functioning, such as improving emotional well-being, enhancing cognitive skills, or changing behavioral patterns. Setting objectives is a foundational element in therapeutic settings, where specific goals help both the therapist and the client to remain focused and measure the effectiveness of the interventions.

Application Areas

Objectives are employed across several fields within psychology:

  • Clinical Psychology: Objectives guide treatment plans, helping clients overcome mental health issues or manage behaviors.
  • Educational Psychology: They direct learning outcomes and help in developing educational programs that enhance student performance.
  • Organizational Psychology: In workplace settings, objectives are set to improve employee satisfaction, increase productivity, and achieve business goals.

Well-Known Examples

In therapy, a common objective might be to reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression by a certain degree within a given timeframe. In an educational setting, an objective could involve students achieving a specific proficiency level in a cognitive skill by the end of the semester.

Treatment and Risks

Objectives must be realistically set and clearly defined to be effective. Poorly defined or unrealistic objectives can lead to frustration and may hinder progress in therapeutic or developmental contexts. In therapy, it is crucial that objectives are agreed upon by both the therapist and the client to ensure commitment and clarity.

Similar Terms

Related terms in psychology include 'goal-setting', which involves the establishment of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. 'Outcomes' and 'targets' are also used interchangeably with objectives, especially in discussing the desired endpoints of psychological treatments or interventions.


Articles with 'Objective' in the title

  • Objective measures: Objective measures are dependent variables such as reaction time that can be easily verified. Likewise, psychological tests that draw conclusions about people's states or traits on the basis of their responses to unambiguous stimuli, such a . . .
  • Objective morality: Objective morality refers to the perception of morality as objective, that is, as existing outside the cognitive functioning of people a characteristic of Piaget's stage of moral realism
  • Objective threshold: Objective threshold is a term which according to Cheesman and Merikle is the stimulus energy level that elicits truly random behavior. In comparison with Subjective threshold


Objective in psychology refers to the goals set to drive behavior and psychological processes towards desired outcomes. They are crucial in various psychological practices, from clinical therapy to educational program design, providing direction and a means to measure success.


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