Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Locke’s (1968) theory of goal setting stipulates that specific, hard goals, if accepted, lead to better performance than do less difficult goals. Locke suggests that conscious intentions are the underlying determinants of performance. However, Locke was more concerned with testing the results of these conscious intentions (goals) than with understanding the cognitions and motivation behind them. While some research has begun to consider the motivational components of goal setting (e.g., Terborg, 1976) very little attention has been given to the factors which determine goal acceptance.
Recently, Mento, Cartledge, and Locke (1980) have suggested that Valence-Instrumentality-Expectancy (VIE) theory may provide a suitable method for predicting goal acceptance. While this theory may provide a means for predicting goal acceptance, it does not seem capable of fully explaining the phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to integrate research on cognitive evaluation theory (Deci, 1975) and on causal attributions (Weiner, Frieze, Kukla, Reed, Rest, § Rosenbaum, 1971), which suggests that attributions to locus of causality may have significant effects on levels of motivation for performing a task, with VIE theory in order to better understand the cognitive processes of goal acceptance and goal commitment.
Adrian, Nelson, "The Relationship of Goal Setting, Extrinsic Motivation and Performance Outcome to Expectancies, Causal Attributions, and Goal Acceptance and Commitment" (1981). Student Work. 165.