This study examined the relationships between feedback seeking, goal orientation, performance and four motives which, though generally considered to underlie the feedback seeking process, have not previously been measured comprehensively. Both the likelihood and the number of instances of feedback seeking were measured in two samples (employees and students) in association with perceived or selfassessed above- and below-average performance. Self-assessed performance was a major predictor of feedback seeking; also influential were goal orientation and the goal orientation-performance interaction. Increased feedback seeking was associated with the desire for useful information motive, and reduced feedback seeking with the ego defence and defensive impression management motives. The desire for useful information motive mediated the influence of performance-prove goal orientation for employees, and that of a learning goal orientation for students.