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Int J Psychol. 2008 Oct;43(5):880-5. doi: 10.1080/00207590701836398.

Socially oriented achievement goals of Chinese university students in Singapore: structure and relationships with achievement motives, goals and affective outcomes.

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  • 1Division of Psychology, Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore.


Contemporary literature on culture, self, and motivations (Markus & Kitayama, 1991) suggests that in collectivistic cultures, individual achievement is interdependent of one's social others. We proposed that this cultural characteristic could be exemplified in the achievement goal orientation and tested the notion with university students in a collectivistic community-Singapore. A socially oriented achievement goal construct was developed by taking into consideration the significant social others in the students' lives. A measuring instrument was established with a sample of Singaporean Chinese university students (N = 196; 144 females and 52 males); its relationships to achievement motives, goals, and consequences were examined. Although the socially oriented achievement goal items were originally constructed from four categories of social others, confirmatory factor analysis suggested a unifactor structure. Results showed that the socially oriented goal was related positively with students' performance goal, mastery goal, and competitive motive; it bore no relationship to mastery motive, work ethic, and interest in learning; and it predicted negatively future engagement. After the effects of mastery and performance goals were controlled for, the socially oriented goal did not predict test anxiety.

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