MY GOALS OR YOURS? THE EFFECTS OF DISPOSITIONAL GOAL ORIENTATION AND INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS ON FEEDBACK SEEKING AND PERFORMANCE
Botwood, L., Macquarie University, Australia
Predilection toward mastery or performance goals is commonly referred to in the literature as 'goal orientation'. The term goal orientation, however, has been used to describe both dispositional self-set goals and task- specific instructional goals. This paper will firstly review the inconsistencies in the literature and proposes that goal orientation be defined as a dispositional trait that may be influenced by situational characteristics, such as instructional task goals. Secondly, the effects of dispositional goal orientation and instructional goals are investigated using a dynamic driving task. In the study, 94 participants were randomly assigned to a training course that emphasized either mastery or performance instructional goals. Goal orientations, as measured by Button, Mathieu and Zajac's (1996) scale, were found to significantly interact with instructional goals and influence the frequency of feedback seeking across driving trials. Specifically, individuals who held multiple goal orientations sought significantly more feedback when assigned mastery as opposed to performance instructional goals and predominant performance goal- oriented individuals sought significantly more feedback when assigned performance as opposed to mastery instructional goals. No significant difference in the frequency of feedback seeking was found for individuals who held a predominant mastery goal orientation. Mastery instructional goals were also found to be related to significantly less driving errors in comparison to performance instructional goals. These results suggest that knowledge of dispositional goal orientation, coupled with the appropriate instructional goal may facilitate performance within training settings. Further applications of the results are discussed.