Unfolding the Hierarchical Nature and Domain Specificity of Achievement Goal Theory

Project Number
RS 3/13 JW

Project Duration
June 2013 - November 2015


Using Nicholls' (1984) framework of achievement goals, we seek to clarify the nature of task and ego goals in achievement contexts outside of the education setting. Achievement goals can be measured at a dispositional level (i.e., goal orientations) and situational level (i.e., states of goal involvement). Accordingly, task and ego goals can be represented at both the dispositional and situational levels. There are three main objectives to the proposed research: First, we investigate the domain specificity (or lack thereof) of goal orientations across music, arts, and sport domains. Second, with a focus in the sport domain, we investigate how situational factors either complement or override one's goal orientation which leads to the adoption of states of goal involvement. We aim to build a model of situational factors consisting of personal motivational and environmental factors present in specific settings (e.g., training, pre competition, competition, post competition). Third, we investigate the effects of congruence or incongruence of task and ego goals across the dispositional and situational levels on subsequent motivated behaviors. Again, the effects will be studied in specific settings (e.g., training, pre competition, competition, post competition). This allows us to study the orthogonality of dispositional and situational levels of achievement goals.

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