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Is the poor performance of self-worth protective students linked with social comparison goals?


Thompson, T and Perry, ZM, Is the poor performance of self-worth protective students linked with social comparison goals?, Educational Psychology, 25, (5) pp. 471-490. ISSN 0144-3410 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/01443410500045558


Students motivated to protect self-worth perform poorly in situations that threaten to reveal low ability while performing well in situations that involve little threat to self-worth. One factor contributing to their poor performance is thought to be their orientation towards social comparison goals (goals that have to do with vindicating their ability relative to others rather than pursuing mastery). In the present study, 96 undergraduate students who were either high or low in selfworth protection were exposed to either success or failure feedback and subsequently primed to pursue either social comparison or mastery goals. For students high in self-worth protection, the negative effects of either failure or social comparison goal priming is sufficient to give rise to poor performance. However, only when success is combined with mastery goal priming is a positive achievement outcome evident. The requirements of best practice approaches to encouraging students to adopt mastery-orientated behaviours are discussed. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Personality and individual differences
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Thompson, T (Dr Ted Thompson)
UTAS Author:Perry, ZM (Ms Zoe Perry)
ID Code:33236
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2006-04-08

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