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Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 1999;3(4):326-44.

Achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: a meta-analytic review.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Rochester, NY, USA.


This article presents a meta-analysis of the experimental literature that has examined the effect of performance and mastery achievement goals on intrinsic motivation. Summary analyses provided support for the hypothesis that the pursuit of performance goals has an undermining effect on intrinsic motivation relative to the pursuit of mastery goals. Moderator analyses were conducted in an attempt to explain significant variation in the magnitude and direction of this effect across studies. Results indicated that the undermining effect of performance goals relative to mastery goals was contingent on whether participants received confirming or nonconfirming competence feedback, and on whether the experimental procedures induced a performance-approach or performance-avoidance orientation. These findings provide conceptual clarity to the literature on achievement goals and intrinsic motivation and suggest numerous avenues for subsequent empirical work.

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