Accession Number : ADA086584


Title :   Goal Setting and Task Performance: 1969-1980


Descriptive Note : Technical rept.


Corporate Author : MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK COLL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT


Personal Author(s) : Locke, Edwin A ; Shaw, Karyll N ; Saari, Lise M ; Latham, Gary P


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a086584.pdf


Report Date : Jun 1980


Pagination or Media Count : 94


Abstract : A review of both laboratory and field studies on the effect of setting goals when learning or performing a task found that specific, challenging goals led more often to higher performance than easy goals, 'do your best' goals or no goals. This is one of the most robust and replicable findings in the psychological literature, with 90% of the studies showing positive or partially positive results. The main mechanisms by which goals affect performance are by directing attention, mobilizing effort, increasing persistence, and motivating strategy development. Goal setting is most likely to improve task performance when the goals are specific and sufficiently challenging, when the subjects have sufficient ability (and ability differences are controlled), when feedback is provided to show progress in relation to the goal, when rewards such as money are given for goal attainment, when the exerimenter manager is supportive, and when the assigned goals are actually accepted by the individual. No reliable individual differences have emerged in goal setting studies, probably because goals were typically assigned rather than self-set. Need for achievement and self esteem may be the most promising individual difference variables. (Author)


Descriptors :   *GOAL PROGRAMMING , STRATEGY , PERFORMANCE(HUMAN) , EFFICIENCY , FEEDBACK , MOTIVATION , LEARNING


Subject Categories : Psychology


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE