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Durham e-Theses
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Automaticity and Achievement Goals: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration of the Implications of Research on the Implicit for Capturing Students' Goals for Studying

DA-COSTA, LAURA,ELISABETH,KATHARINE (2015) Automaticity and Achievement Goals: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration of the Implications of Research on the Implicit for Capturing Students' Goals for Studying. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis examines whether implications from research in the field of implicit cognition apply to achievement goals via firstly an extensive re-assessment of the literature (Chapters 2 and 3) and then via a series of experiments (Chapters 4-7).

Chapter one introduces the work, and outlines the rationale, aims and research. Chapter two is a critical examination of how achievement goals are currently defined and operationalized, and highlights the underlying assumptions that achievement goals are conscious and accessible. Chapter three challenges these assumptions by examining the literature on implicit cognition and nonconscious goal pursuit. Chapter three argues that as cognitive representations, there is a potential for achievement goals to be activated and operate nonconsciously, and that a methodology predominantly based on self-report is limited in the access it may provide to achievement goals.

Chapter four designs, tests, and compares two original achievement goal implicit methods, the Valence IAT and Self/Other Referent IAT, with the Achievement Goal Questionnaire-Revised (AGQ-R, Elliot & Murayama, 2008), and found good internal consistency for both IATs but no significant correlations between IATs and AGQ-R. Chapter five compares the Valence IAT and the AGQ-R with students’ persistence behavior on an achievement task, and found both methods to be equally consistent with behavior. Chapter six tests whether achievement goals can be primed to influence subsequent achievement behavior, and found that persistence behavior differed significantly by priming condition in line with theorized patterns for performance and mastery goals. In Chapter seven, achievement goals are primed and compared directly with the Valence IAT and the AGQ-R, and both methods were found to be equally consistent with the primed goal.

Chapter eight summarizes and concludes that this thesis provides the first in-depth theoretical and methodological exploration of the potential for nonconscious achievement goals in what is a promising field for continued study.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Achievement motivation; Goal theory; Implicit Association Tests; Self presentation; Social cognition
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:19 May 2015 15:13

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