Achievement Goals, Positive and Negative Performance Feedback, and Novel Task Performance

Rosanna Mazzaferro, Fordham University


The purposes of this experimental study were to examine relationships between (a) achievement goal priming conditions and task success; (b) achievement goal priming conditions and task interest level; and (c) feedback, priming, and goal achievement as predictors of both interest and performance levels. The achievement goal priming conditions were mastery priming, performance priming, and none (the control condition). The experiment was conducted with 210 children, of whom all but one was either ten or eleven years of age. The first expectation was that mastery priming would play a significant role as a determinant of task success as well as task interest, because previous theoretical and empirical evidence of mastery as a motivator of young children. This expectation was not met, suggesting the possibility that mastery might be more important for predicting success in children younger than those included in this study. The second expectation was that achievement goal priming would positively influence interest level; analysis showed that this expectation was met, suggesting the use of mastery priming in particular as a stimulator of interest. Finally, performance was not found to have a meaningful impact on interest level. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed, and recommendations for practice and future scholarship were made.

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Recommended Citation

Mazzaferro, Rosanna, "Achievement Goals, Positive and Negative Performance Feedback, and Novel Task Performance" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI22588568.