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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.