Approach and Avoidance Achievement Goals and Intrinsic Motivation: A Mediational Analysis

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Most contemporary achievement goal conceptualizations consist of a performance goal versus mastery goal dichotomy. The present research offers an alternative framework by partitioning the performance goal orientation into independent approach and avoidance motivational orientations. Two experiments investigated the predictive utility of the proposed approach–avoidance achievement goal conceptualization in the intrinsic motivation domain. Results from both experiments supported the proposed framework; only performance goals grounded in the avoidance of failure undermined intrinsic motivation. Task involvement was validated as a mediator of the observed effects on intrinsic motivation. Ramifications for the achievement goal approach to achievement motivation and future research avenues are discussed.

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