Salient Goals Direct and Energise Students' Actions in the Classroom


Monique Boekaerts, Leiden University, Department of Education, The Netherlands. Email:


In this exploratory study, a multidimensional unfolding technique is used to visualise goal salience. A total of 1,733 students from secondary vocational education reported on the importance of 16 goals, using the GIFI, which is based on the 24 goal taxonomy proposed by Ford and Nichols (1991). Results show that students make a clear distinction between ego and non-ego goals and that non-ego goals are reported as most important by most students. Also, differences within the group of boys and the group of girls, and differences between boys and girls, are shown. The results and possibilities of multidimensional unfolding for future research on goals are discussed.