Relating a Task-Based, Behavioral Measure of Achievement Goals to Self-Reported Goals and Performance in the Classroom

J. Elizabeth RicheyUniversity of Pittsburgh
Matthew L. BernackiUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas
Daniel M. BelenkyCarnegie Mellon University
Timothy J. Nokes-MalachUniversity of Pittsburgh

Abstract

Achievement goals are a powerful construct for understanding students’ classroom experiences and performance, yet most work examining achievement goals relies on self-report measures gathered through questionnaires. The current work aims to assess achievement goals using a task choice embedded within a typical classroom activity. Results show the behavioral measure of achievement goals predicts performance on the task, while self-reported achievement goals do not. Self-reported achievement goals predict quarterly grades, while the behavioral measure of achievement goals does not. This work supports the viability of a behavioral measure and suggests the achievement goals that students adopt at a task level may be different from their general class achievement goals. Using complementary achievement goal measures may improve understanding of how achievement goals relate to student behaviors and academic achievement.

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