Article: article from journal or magazin.
"Too complex for me!" Why do performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals predict exam performance?
European Journal of Psychology of Education
Classroom research on achievement goals has revealed that performance-approach goals (goals to outperform others) positively predict exam performance whereas performance-avoidance goals (goals not to perform more poorly than others) negatively predict it. Because prior classroom research has primarily utilized multiplechoice exam performance, the first aim of the present study was to extend these findings to a different measure of exam performance (oral examination). The second aim of this research was to test the mediating role of perceived difficulty. Participants were 49 4th year psychology students of the University of Geneva. Participants answered a questionnaire assessing their level of performance-approach and performance-avoidance goal endorsement in one of their classes as well as the perceived difficulty of this class for themselves. Results indicated that performance-approach goals significantly and positively predicted exam grades. Performance-avoidance goals significantly and negatively predicted grades. Both of these relationships were mediated by the perceived difficulty of the class for oneself. Thus, the links previously observed between performance goals and exam performance were replicated on an oral exam. Perceived difficulty is discussed as a key dimension responsible for these findings.
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