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A social-cognitive approach to goal-setting: The mediating effects of achievement goals and perceived ability

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Title: A social-cognitive approach to goal-setting: The mediating effects of achievement goals and perceived ability
Author(s): Hall, Howard Kingsley
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Roberts, Glyn C.
Department / Program: Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline: Kinesiology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Psychology, Social Education, Physical
Abstract: Current conceptual approaches to the study of achievement behavior (Ames, 1984; Dweck, 1986; Nicholls, 1984; Roberts, 1984) consider achievement goals and the perception of ability to be key mediating variables underlying achievement striving. Therefore, understanding how the same cognitive mediating variables impact on the effect of goal setting may offer an increased conceptual understanding of the goal setting-performance relationship. Specifically, the present investigation attempted to determine the effect of goal choice, perceived ability, goal structure and feedback upon the goal setting-performance relationship. One hundred and sixty nine male subjects were randomly assigned to one of 16 different conditions and were required to perform a balance task comprising nine, 30 second trials on a stability platform. After performing the first three trials under "do-best" instructions in order to obtain a baseline measure of performance, subjects were given fictitious feedback that they had performed well or poorly in order to manipulate their perceived ability. A goal of 60% improvement over the next six trials was then assigned to all subjects. They performed the next six trials under either an individualistic goal structure, where only personal performance feedback was given, or under a normative goal structure, where normative feedback indicating they had performed poorly compared to others was given in addition to personal performance feedback. Furthermore, fictitious performance feedback was administered following each trial indicating that the subject had either successfully achieved the 60% goal or that performance was discrepant from it. Upon completion of the baseline, and 2nd, 4th and 6th experimental trials, a number of questionnaires were administered to assess related cognitive information. Data analysis revealed significantly poorer performance over trials and a potentially debilitating pattern of performance cognitions for those having low perceived ability who performed under a normative goal structure. These results support the notion that achievement goals and perceived ability mediate the effects of assigned goals on performance, suggesting that a social cognitive motivational framework may facilitate an understanding of the goal setting-performance relationship.
Issue Date: 1990
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/21288
Rights Information: Copyright 1990 Hall, Howard Kingsley
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9026199
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9026199
 

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