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Week7_Elliot&Harackiewicz_1996

Week7_Elliot&Harackiewicz_1996 - J ournal of...

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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 1996 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 1996, VOl.70, No. 3, 461-475 0022-3514196/$3.00 Approach and Avoidance Achievement Goals and Intrinsic Motivation: A Mediational Analysis Andrew J. Elliot University of Rochester Judith M. Harackiewicz University of Wisconsin--Madison Most contemporary achievement goal conceptualizations consist of a performance goal versus mas- tery goal dichotomy. The present research offers an alternative framework by partitioning the per- formance goal orientation into independent approach and avoidance motivational orientations. Two experiments investigated the predictive utility of the proposed approach-avoidance achievement goal conceptualization in the intrinsic motivation domain. Results from both experiments supported the proposed framework; only performance goals grounded in the avoidance of failure undermined intrinsic motivation. Task involvement was validated as a mediator of the observed effects on intrin- sic motivation. Ramifications for the achievement goal approach to achievement motivation and future research avenues are discussed. Achievement motivation theorists focus their research atten- tion on a particular class of behaviors, those involving compe- tence. Individuals may aspire to attain competence or may strive to avoid incompetence, and this approach-avoidance dis- tinction was explicitly incorporated into the earliest achieve- ment motivation conceptualizations. Two independent motiva- tional orientations, the desire for success and the desire to avoid failure, were identified by Lewin and colleagues as critical determinants of aspiration behavior (Hoppe, cited in Lewin, Dembo, Festinger, & Sears, 1944). In his nascent achievement motivation theory, McClelland ( 1951 ) proposed that "there are at least two kinds of achievement motivation, one of which ap- pears to be oriented around avoiding failure and the other around the more positive goal of attaining success" (p. 202). Andrew J. Elliot, Department of Psychology,University of Rochester; Judith M. Harackiewicz, Department of Psychology, University of Wis- consin--Madison. This research was supported by a Dissertation Research Award from the American Psychological Association and a Berkowitz Dissertation Award granted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. Thanks are extended to Patricia Devine, Ran- dall Dunham, Dacher Keltner, and Carolin Showers for their service on the dissertation committee. This research was also supported by a grant from the Vilas Associates program at the University of Wisconsin-- Madison. Additional gratitude is expressed to those who assisted in the process of data collection: Kenneth Barron, Suzanne Carter, Marcy Church, Rachel Dean, Roberta Deppe, Brooke Gallagher, Leonard Gicas, Heather Gore, Elizabeth Grille, Kristen Kolodzik, Michael Krause, Phyllis Lee, Allyson Mease, Laura Moeller, Katie Mrzaek, Christine Ng, Brian Needle, Jodi Ritter, Jeannine Sayer, Eric Sobel, Mikko Sperber, Jessica Stein, and Randall Young. Kenneth Baron, Keith Campbell,
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