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ERIC Number: EJ936478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 82
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Why Grades Engender Performance-Avoidance Goals: The Mediating Role of Autonomous Motivation
Pulfrey, Caroline; Buchs, Celine; Butera, Fabrizio
Journal of Educational Psychology, v103 n3 p683-700 Aug 2011
Evaluation is an inescapable feature of academic life with regular grading and performance appraisals at school and at university. Although previous research has indicated that evaluation and grading in particular are likely to have a substantial impact on motivational processes, little attention has been paid to the relationship between grading and approach versus avoidance achievement goals, 2 fundamental concerns whenever evaluation is at stake. Three experiments, carried out in professional schools, revealed that expectation of a grade for a task, compared with no grade, consistently induced greater adoption of performance-avoidance, but not performance-approach, goals. Experiments 2 and 3 revealed that expectation of a grade, compared with no grade, consistently induced greater adoption of performance-avoidance goals even when grading was accompanied by a formative comment. Furthermore, Experiment 3 showed that reduced autonomous motivation measured after having completed a task for a grade versus no grade mediated the relationship between grading and adoption of performance-avoidance goals in a subsequent task. Results are discussed in the light of achievement goal and self-determination theory. (Contains 7 tables and 1 figure.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A