Name of Faculty Sponsor

Paul A. Story

Faculty Sponsor Email


Publication Date

June 2017


According to achievement goal theory, individuals set mastery or performance goals to accomplish challenging tasks. In addition, they can either approach or avoid the goal they are achieving. Mastery goals show positive correlation to intrinsic motivation while performance goals are linked to extrinsic motivation. Goal setting also affects motivation for completing tasks and perception of self-efficacious behavior while performing tasks. Receiving feedback has been positively correlated with success in learning and intrinsic motivation. The present research manipulates goal orientation through the accomplishment of a word find in an online experimental setting to test the effect on feedback, intrinsic motivation, choice, and self-efficacy. Positive versus highly positive feedback conditions were used after the word find to test effects on perceived competence following a task. For the approach-mastery goal condition, we found main effects for intrinsic motivation, perceived choice, task choice, and views of task importance. Additionally, we found a main effect for perceived competence for our highly positive feedback condition versus giving just positive feedback. These results demonstrate support for accomplishing challenging tasks with mastery goals versus performance goals and the usage of more positive feedback in a feedback condition.