Achievement goal orientations: A person-oriented approach

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In this chapter, we describe the principles of a person-oriented approach to studying individual differences (and similarities), and how it can be applied to the study of students’ achievement goal orientations. First, we briefly illustrate the approach, which provides a way of looking at the relative emphasis of different achievement goal orientations, thereby explicitly addressing the issue of multiple goals and their associations with important outcomes. Second, we give a comprehensive review of studies that have applied such an approach to investigating students’ achievement goals. The diversity in conceptualizations, methods, and study samples in the studies complicates the interpretation of the findings, but some generalizations can nevertheless be made. Based on the review, we conclude that students with qualitatively different achievement goal orientation profiles can clearly be identified, and that the extracted profiles are rather similar across studies. Further, it seems that such profiles are relatively stable over time and meaningfully associated with learning and various educational outcomes (e.g., academic achievement, self-perceptions, well-being, task-related motivation, and performance). The review also contributes to the debate concerning the advantages of endorsing different goals. Finally, we raise some methodological concerns, discuss implications for learning, and provide suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Motivation and Learning
EditorsK. Ann Renninger, Suzanne E. Hidi
Number of pages51
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication dateFeb 2019
ISBN (Print)978-1-107-17793-2, 978-1-136-63079-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-316-82327-9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameCambridge Handbooks in Psychology
PublisherCambridge University Press

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Achievement goal orientation
  • Motivation
  • Learning
  • Academic achievement
  • Well-being
  • Person-oriented approach
  • 515 Psychology

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