We would like to thank Marc Blais and Robert Vallerand for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We would also like to thank Edward Deci, Richard Ryan, James Connell, and the other members of the Rochester Motivation Group for their help in developing some of the ideas for this article. This research was funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Fonds pour la formation de chercheurs et l'aide à la recherche (Quebec) to Richard Koestner.
Causality Orientations, Failure, and Achievement
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 62, Issue 3, pages 321–346, September 1994
How to Cite
Koestner, R. and Zuckerman, M. (1994), Causality Orientations, Failure, and Achievement. Journal of Personality, 62: 321–346. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1994.tb00300.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received June 24, 1991; revised March 15, 1993.
ABSTRACT Two studies examined similarities between Deci and Ryan's (1985) causality orientations theory and Dweck and Leggett's (1988) social-cognitive theory of achievement. Study 1 examined the conceptual similarity between the individual difference measures central to the two theories. It was shown that autonomous college students are likely to adopt learning goals and report high confidence in their academic abilities; controlled students are likely to adopt performance goals and to report high levels of confidence in their ability; and impersonal students are likely to possess the classic helpless pattern of performance goals and low confidence in their academic abilities. Study 2 examined whether causality orientations, like Dweck's measures of goals and confidence, moderate the impact of failure feedback on motivation as measured in persistence and performance. The results suggested that autonomous individuals respond to failure in a mastery-oriented fashion, whereas impersonal individuals respond in a helpless manner. The response of controlled individuals to failure parallels that of people described as ego-involved or reactive.