Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Richard Wikoff

Second Advisor

Robert Woody

Third Advisor

James Akers


Motivation is a central issue in academics. Previous research has shown that goal setting is one method of increasing motivation, with specific goals being more motivating than nonspecific, do your best goals. Research has also shown that self-selected goals increase motivation more than externally imposed goals. The present study examined the effects of self-selected, externally imposed, and do your best goals on task motivation when the personality factor locus of control was controlled by blocking subject groups. It was shown that an interaction exists between method of goal setting and locus of control. It was also found that method of goal setting does not affect the level of motivation of individuals who hold an internal locus of control perspective. However, method of goal-setting was found to affect the motivation of individuals who hold an external locus of control perspective. The results of the study are discussed in terms of academic applications, and suggestions for further research are offered.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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