Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Investigating the Achievement Goals of University Students in Terms of Psycho-Social Variables *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Investigating the Achievement Goals of University Students in Terms of Psycho-Social Variables *

Article excerpt

Just like intellectual factors, non-intellectual factors also play an important role in the academic achievement level of individuals. In particular, one can notice that researchers in recent years have sought to prove the impact of non-intellectual factors on academic achievement. In this framework, within the body of literature, explanations on the theory of achievement goals (Elliot, 1999) related to how individuals are motivated to be successful through their personal and social characteristics have an important place.

The theory of achievement goals was developed to explain how the achievement level of individuals can differ even with the same intelligence and ability level (Dweck, 1986; Dweck & Leggete, 1988). According to this theory, the reason for different levels of success in individuals with the same ability and level of intelligence stems from the different forms of motivation and goals they set in order to be successful (Elliot & Dweck, 1988). The goals of individuals attained towards success and their unique forms of motivation for being successful are closely related to each other (Dweck, 1986). In other words, the goals of individuals attained towards success can significantly affect their level of motivation while they deal with academic tasks. In this context, the theory of achievement goals is expressed as a cognitive, affective, and behavioral process which includes the purposes an individual wants to achieve during fulfillment of an academic task (Elliot & Dweck, 1988; Nicholls, 1984). Therefore, it is understood that achievement goals are forms that include the different dimensions of an individual's personality and psychological characteristics.

When achievement goals theory first emerged, it was argued that individuals could adopt two different achievement goals: mastery and performance (Dweck, 1986). In later years, performance achievement goals were divided into two dimensions, and the trichotomous achievement goals model was adopted. The achievement goals were described as a three-dimensional structure containing mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance (Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996). After the trichotomous achievement goals model, the mastery achievement goal was divided into two dimensions and a 2 x 2 achievement goals model was developed (Elliot & McGregor, 2001). With this model, addressing achievement goals in the four dimensions of mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach and performance-avoidance began.

In the 2 x 2 achievement goals model, each achievement goal has unique qualities. In this framework, individuals adopting the masteryapproach achievement goal have characteristics such as improving their abilities, studying their learning materials fully, improving their knowledge and being ambitious when encountering a mistake (Elliot, 1999; Elliot & Dweck, 1988; Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996). Individuals having the mastery-avoidance achievement goal have characteristics such as concern about showing a lower performance than before, setting high achievement standards for themselves, fear of failure, concerns about forgetting what they have learned and learning incorrectly (Elliot & McGregor, 2001). Individuals with performance-approach achievement goal have characteristics such as being more successful compared to others, competitive, having a fear of failure, and using superficial study strategies (Elliot, 1999; Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996). Individuals with performance-avoidance achievement goals have characteristics such as avoiding being unsuccessful compared to others, fear of failure, disorganization, avoidance of difficult tasks, and leaving tasks unfinished (Elliot, 1999; Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996; Elliot & McGregor, 2001). In the framework of these explanations, when these four achievement goals are assessed, it can be pointed out that individuals set criteria according to their own success or the success of others and when they motivate themselves to success, preferring a successful approach or avoiding being unsuccessful as the baseline. …

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