Oct 31 – Achievement Goal Theory Continued
Relationships Between “Social Approval” Performance Feedback and Goal
Research Example: Treasure and Roberts
Subjects: 330 British School Kids (1 , 3 , 5 year high school)
We can give feedback, but based on an athlete’s motivational feedback, it affects
how they use that feedback
Both task and ego oriented athletes are motivated to receive socially acceptance
and to win.
Measures: 1.) perceptions of success questionnaire (similar to TEOSQ)
2.) Sport Satisfaction scale: (“In you sport, how much satisfaction do you feel when..
you please your teacher, parents, or friends.”)
Results: Both task and ego groups (across various ages) identified social approval
as an important source of sport satisfaction (ex. Source of motivation)
Ex. Ego oriented athletes tend to believe that social approval is contingent upon
outperforming others and demonstrating superior normative ability. They believed
they were praised because they were better than other people
.. while task oriented athletes believe that social approval given by significant
others is dependent upon high effort and personal improvement. They said: I must
have worked hard and gotten better
When giving feedback, you should tell them why you are saying good job.
As a coach, try to provide “social approval performance feedback” (ex. Praise) that
clearly emphasise mastery/task achievement.
... Relates to motivational climate
• If I play for a coach who only provides “social approval” feedback when I win
or outperform others [competitive climate], I may adopt a “win at all costs”
attitude • Decreased moral reasoning, increased aggression, decrease in
sportspersonship values, increased likelihood of cheating
Perceptions of Winning
Both task and ego oriented athletes are motivated to win
.. but each view winning in qualitatively different ways
Highly task-oriented athletes view winning/victory as a sign of personal mastery and
Highly ego-oriented athletes view winning/victory as a sign that they are better than
It is likely that the most powerful (or beneficial) profile of achievement goals in elite
sport comes in the form of high task-orientation combined with ego-orientation
Task orientation can help an athlete feel satisfied even when they don't win it all.
.. ego oriented athletes tend to view sport as a “means to an end” (ex. Enhanced
social status), rather than an “end in itself”
“Motivational Climate” Feedback Examples
Competitive Outcome Climate Feedback: “well done erik. Im really proud of you. We
won the race and you were great. You had the fastest time of anyone on our team,
and you shot better than anyone else in the entire competition.” Here we are saying
we are proud of him based on him being better than everyone else. This fosters an
Mastery/Task Climate Feedback: “Well done Erik. Im really proud of you. You were
real steady on your shooting today. Actually, that was the best you’ve shot this
year. And the effort you put into your skiing over the last Kilometer was fantastic.
I’ve never seen you work so hard. Here we see the coach valuing the athlete
focusing on personal improvement.
Over time, the type of feedback provides qualitatively different meanings for the
athletes (re, whats important/valued by the coach) and will likely influence goal
involvement Eccles et. al’s Expectancy Value theory
Top left – expectations for succes