Learning, Prove, and Avoid Goal Orientations in Academics and Athletics: Cross-Structure Analysis and Domain Specificity
Burnkrant, Steven Richard
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Abstract Despite the growing popularity of goal orientation research, three questions remain largely unanswered: (1) are there 3 factors of goal orientation or only 2; (2) what predicts goal orientation; and (3) is goal orientation domain specific? To help answer these questions, 177 undergraduates were given a questionnaire assessing, in both the academic and athletic domains, (a) learning, prove, and avoid goals, (b) self-perceived ability, ability, and implicit theories, and (c) high-school grade point average, intrinsic motivation, internal motivation, self-efficacy, locus of control, need for achievement, desire to win, and fear of negative evaluation. The results suggest that learning, prove, and avoid goals can be empirically distinguished, that they are domain specific, but that they are not predicted well by ability, self-perceived ability, or implicit theories. Discussion centers on the need for a pattern approach to the prediction of goal orientation and stresses the importance of examining the interactions among learning, prove, and avoid goals. The overriding conclusion, however, is that goal orientation is not a useful construct.
- Masters Theses