Tabernero, C., University of Salamanca, Spain and Wood, R.E., The University of New South Wales, Australia
People set goals for themselves, anticipate the likely consequences of prospective actions, and plan courses action likely to produce desired outcomes and avoid detrimental ones. Through the exercise of forethought, people motivate themselves and guide their actions anticipatory. An important characteristic of goal orientation is that it creates the mental framework within which individuals interpret and respond to situations. Goal orientation is conceptualised as a three-factor construct, where a performance goal orientation is defined as both the desire to gain favourable judgements and to desire to avoid unfavourable judgements about one's ability. In contrast, a learning goal orientation is a desire to develop the self by acquiring new skills, mastering new situations and improving one's competence. 200 students participated in this experiment. A first trial of a complex decision making task was proposed for all participants. In a second step, they received a feedback of their performance and they selected between four different levels of difficulty for that complex task. Results analysed the relative impact of achievement goal orientations and self-efficacy on the choice prediction. A general loglineal was used and there was a strong support for the affirmation of an avoid performance goal orientation was an important predictor of level difficult choice in a range of complex decision task. A Bayesian approach using a non parametric binary regression showed that those with a high perception of self-efficacy have a high probability to choose the most difficult level in spite of mediocre past performance.