The Relationships Between Perfectionism, Achievement Goal Orientations, and Goal Setting

    Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingMagisteruppsats


    The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between multidimensional perfectionism, achievement goal orientations, and distal goal setting. Multidimensional perfectionism is regarded as consisting of both positive and negative dimensions, and it is seen as a significant personality characteristic in individuals in achievement contexts. Achievement goal orientations refer to individuals’ generalized tendencies to favour certain types of goals and outcomes in achievement settings. Distal goal setting refers to individuals’ long-term goals, which, in the present study, are the grade goals that students have set for themselves. The relationship between perfectionism and achievement goals, as well as between perfectionism and aspiration level has been detected in previous studies. However, there has not been any previous studies concerning the relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and achievement goal orientations, which both play an important role in the adoption of goals and the interpretation of achievement contexts. Thus, the assumption in the present study is that perfectionistic characteristics in students have an effect on the adoption of achievement goal orientations, distal goals, and also on the revision of those goals.
    The participants in the present study were 156 first-year students (aged 16–17 years) from a general upper secondary school in a small southwestern town in Finland. The students completed two questionnaires: the first in the beginning of each course and the second during the courses. By using TwoStep cluster analysis, three distinct perfectionism profiles (i.e., adaptive, maladaptive, and non- perfectionists) were extracted. The between-group differences on the achievement goal orientations, goal setting, and goal revision were examined through a series of univariate analyses of (co)variance based on the perfectionism profile membership.
    As expected, the adaptive perfectionists were prone to adopt mastery-intrinsic, mastery-extrinsic, and performance-approach achievement goal orientations. In contrast, the maladaptive perfectionists highlighted performance-avoidance and avoidance goal orientations, while the non-perfectionists did not highlight any of the orientations. The adaptive perfectionists had the highest aspiration level and they also lowered their grade goals the least. The findings suggest that students’ perfectionistic characteristics have an influence on their achievement goal orientations, goal setting, and goal revision. The maladaptive and non-perfectionists are at the highest risk of adopting low aspiration levels, maladaptive achievement goal orientations, and have the tendency to revise their goals downwards. It might be useful to take this into consideration at schools and in teaching, and to consider, if counselling needs to be given to those students.
    Bidragets titel på inmatningsspråkYhteydet perfektionismin, tavoiteorientaatioiden ja tavoitteen asettamisen välillä
    StatusPublicerad - 30 dec 2015
    MoE-publikationstypG2 Masteruppsats, polyteknisk masteruppsats

    Bibliografisk information

    Master's Thesis, General and Adult Education, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki


    • 516 Pedagogik

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