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Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2015 Sep;40(3):189-200. doi: 10.1007/s10484-015-9287-8.

Academic Goal Orientation and Cardiovascular Reactivity in a Performance Situation.

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Institute of Physiology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


The present study investigated whether students' academic goal orientation (learning goals, performance goals, work avoidance) and their individual competence beliefs (their academic self-concept) can predict motivation-related cardiovascular activation patterns in a demanding performance situation. A sample of seventy-two undergraduate students rated their academic goal orientation as well as their competence beliefs and completed a mental arithmetic task. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure, pre-ejection period (PEP) as well as cardiac output (CO) and total peripheral resistance were monitored continuously during rest and task exposure. Students scoring higher on work avoidance showed smaller increases in HR and CO, and a smaller shortening of the PEP. A lower academic self-concept was associated with attenuated CO reactivity and a smaller shortening of the PEP. Learning and performance goals were unrelated to cardiovascular activity. The attenuated cardiac activity observed for work avoidance and competence beliefs was interpreted in terms of reduced task engagement resulting from lower success importance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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