ERIC Number: ED411298
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Avoiding the Demonstration of Lack of Ability: An Under-Explored Aspect of Goal Theory.
Middleton, Michael; Midgley, Carol
Theorists have traditionally described motivation in terms of approach and avoidance tendencies. In contrast, goal orientation research has focused primarily on two approach goals: demonstrating ability (performance-approach) and developing ability (task). A scale to assess the goal of avoiding the demonstration of lack of ability (performance-avoid) was included with scales assessing approach goals in a survey given to 703 sixth graders. Factor analysis supported the differentiation among the three scales. The performance scales were moderately positively correlated and exhibited low correlations with the task scale. With all three goals in regression equations, task goals predicted academic efficacy, self-regulated learning, and lower levels of avoiding seeking academic help in the classroom. Performance-avoid goals negatively predicted academic efficacy and positively predicted avoiding seeking help and test anxiety. Performance-approach goals did not emerge as the most significant predictor of any of these educationally relevant outcomes. An appendix presents the test items. (Contains 5 tables and 40 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Grant (W.T.) Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A