When and Why Performance-Prove Goal Orientation Predicts Task Performance and Goal Expectancy: The Roles of Goal Content, Self-Efficacy, and Goal Structure
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This study aimed to determine when and why performance-prove goal orientation (PPGO) relates to a) task performance and b) goal expectancy. Goal content was also proposed to be a mediator of the PPGO-task performance relationship. Additionally, task-specific self-efficacy (TSE) was proposed to moderate the relationship between PPGO and task performance such that as TSE increased so would the magnitude of the positive relationship between PPGO and task performance. Second, goal structure was proposed to moderate the relationship between PPGO and task performance such that the positive relationship between PPGO and task performance was stronger when individuals are engaged in a task with a competitive goal structure. In an attempt to integrate goal orientation and goal setting theory, the current study examined the relationship between PPGO and goal expectancy. This relationship was expected to be moderated by goal structure such that the relationship between PPGO and goal expectancy was positive in a competitive goal structure but not in a non-competitive goal structure. Finally, it was proposed that the previously observed null relationships between PPGO and performance have been due to the fact that many studies did not utilize measures that take into account the bifurcation of the performance goal orientation construct into separate dimensions of PPGO and performance-avoid goal orientation (PAGO). Correspondingly, exploratory analyses were conducted to examine the moderator effects proposed in this study. The expectation was that the moderator effects proposed would differ based on using a PPGO measure vs. a PAGO measure. One hundred nine undergraduate research methods students completed at least one item generation task (IGT) for extra credit prior to each of four examinations throughout the semester. Each participant had the opportunity to complete the IGT in the competitive condition twice and in the noncompetitive condition twice. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to test the study hypotheses. There was support for a direct, positive relationship between PPGO and task performance controlling for goal structure. There was no support for a PPGO-prove goal content relationship, nor a prove goal content-task performance relationship; therefore, goal content did not mediate the PPGO-task performance relationship. None of the substantive PPGO-task performance moderator hypotheses were supported that included task performance as the dependent variable. The results did reveal that goal structure moderated the relationship between PPGO and goal expectancy. Furthermore, exploratory analyses indicated there were some differential effects observed when examining PAGO instead of PPGO in the moderator analyses involving goal expectancy. These results provide additional support for the separation of the PPGO and PAGO constructs. Study limitations, implications, and future research directions are discussed.
Hendricks, Joseph Wade (2015). When and Why Performance-Prove Goal Orientation Predicts Task Performance and Goal Expectancy: The Roles of Goal Content, Self-Efficacy, and Goal Structure. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from