Individual Differences in Trait Motivation: An Exploration of the Relative Influence of Motivational Traits and Goal Orientation on Goal Setting Processes


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Very little empirical evidence exists linking the motivational traits portion of the motivational traits and skills framework to goal setting processes. The present study explored relationships between motivational traits, task-specific self-efficacy and self-set goal level during a computer-based task. Along with direct assessment of these relationships, we assessed whether task-specific self-efficacy mediates relationships between motivational traits and self-set goal level. In the current study, we also examined the ability of motivational traits to provide an increment in the prediction of motivational outcomes over currently accepted goal orientation constructs. Analyses suggest that the motivational traits personal mastery and motivation related to anxiety are consistent predictors of task-specific self-efficacy but inconsistent predictors of self-set goal level while competitive excellence entirely unrelated to motivational outcomes. Motivational traits failed to provide any significant increment in the prediction of task-specific self-efficacy over respective goal orientation constructs. Implications and future directions are discussed.



Goal Orientation, Self-efficacy, Goal Setting, Motivational Traits, Incremental Validity