Oct 29 – Achievement Goal Theory
Interactionist theory that considers 1.) Achievement goals [personality], 2.)
Perceived ability, 3.) Motivational climate [situation] and 4.) Achievement behaviour
to help understand motivated behaviour
This theory was studied meticulously and played a pivotal role in understanding
motivated behaviours of the athlete.
This theory talks about personality, achievement goals, perceived ability (how it can
mediate outcomes), the motivational climate (how parents and coaches manipulate
Achievement Goals (Dispositional Tendency)
1.) Outcome/Competitive/Ego Goal Orientation – all of these primarily mean the
• Focus on normative social comparison to judge personal ability/competence
• Doing better than others is their way to determining success
• ..if I lose, I am provided with competence information that suggests I have
• Losing for ego oriented athletes is destructive
• ..thus, being better than others is the primary source of motivation
2.) Task/Mastery goal Orientation
• Focus on self-improvement, effort, and personal mastery to judge personal
• Perceived ability isn’t tied into normative success
• Judge success, on effort, mastery and development. They don't judge
themselves on normative success. They still want to win and be better than
others, but it isn’t their top goal. They have a self referenced focus. (ex. If I
lose but play a good game, I can still have a good feeling)
• Ex. Failure to beat opponent doesn’t necessarily lead to a decrease in
motivation or perceived ability. • Note: task and ego orientations are independent (orthogonal) constructs
Measuring Goal Orientations
The best way to measure goal orientation is through the Task and Ego
orientation in sport questionnaire (TEOSQ) developed by Duda and Nicholls
I feel most successful in sport when..
(1) ...I’m the only one on the team who can do the play or skill. - ego
(2)…I learn a new skill and it makes me want to practice more. - task
(3) ...I can do better than my friends and team mates. - ego
(4) ...the others can’t do as well as me. - ego
(5)…I learn something that is fun to do. - task
(6) ...others mess up and don’t. - ego
(7)…I learn a new skill by trying hard. - task
(8)…I really work hard. - task
(9) ...I score the most points/goals (or make the most saves). - ego
(10) …something I learn makes me want to practice more. - task
(11) ...I’m the best player in the game or at practice. - ego
(12) …a skill I learn really feels right. -task
(13) …I perform to the best of my ability. - task
2,5,7,8,10,12,13 are task
They are about increased effort and improvement, irrespective of what others are
Ego Orientation Items
• I feel most successful in sports when...
• I’m the only one on the team who can do the play or skill
• I can do better than my friends and team mates. - ego
• .the others can’t do as well as me. – ego
• others mess up and don’t
• I score the most points/goals (or make the most saves).
• I’m the best player in the game or at practice.
Task Orientation Items
I feel most successful in sport when...
• a skill I learn really feels right. • I perform to the best of my ability.
• something I learn makes me want to practice more
• I learn a new skill by trying hard.
• I really work hard.
• I learn something that is fun to do
• I learn a new skill and it makes me