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Learning Goals or Performance Goals: Is it the journey or the destination?

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1. Performance was highest for individuals who had a specific high learning goal. Their market share was almost twice as high as those with a performance outcome goal. There was no significant difference in performance among individuals with a performance goal, or those who were simply urged to do their best.2. Individuals who had a learning goal took the time necessary to acquire the knowledge to perform the task effectively and to analyze the task-relevant information that was available to them.3. Those with a learning goal were convinced that they were capable of mastering the task. This suggests that the increase in self-efficacy resulting from a learning goal occurs as a result of the discovery of appropriate strategies for task mastery. A performance goal, on the other hand, can lead to a highly unsystematic “mad scramble” for solutions.4. Those with a learning goal had a higher commitment to their goal than did those with a performance goal. The correlation between goal commitment and performance was also significant.

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