Motivational goals, perceived ability, and the purpose of school : a study of form five students : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in psychology at Massey University
Students' motivational goals, perceived ability, and beliefs about the purpose of school were investigated by questionnaire. 450 Form Five students participated in the study. The extent to which students differentiate between motivational goals was examined. Predictions were made regarding the relationships between motivational goals and students' perceived ability and beliefs about the purpose of school.
It was found that students did not clearly distinguish between 'task', 'ego', and 'work avoidance' motivational goals. However, when these goals were considered separately they were found to be related to students' perceived ability and beliefs about the purpose of school. Predictions regarding subject - specificity of perceived ability were supported, but predictions of ethnic differences in perceived ability were not. There were slight gender differences in perceived ability and beliefs about the purpose of school.
The findings were discussed in terms of their relationship to other studies, and the implications for past and future methods of studying motivational goals.