Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Achievement Goals

  • Nicolas SommetEmail author
  • Andrew J. Elliot
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_484-1



Achievement goals are self-regulatory commitments that provide direction to individuals as they interpret and respond to competence-relevant situations. Four types of achievement goals have been the primary focus of the literature: Mastery-approach goals (master a task; improve over time), performance-approach goals (outperform others), mastery-avoidance goals (not fall short of mastering a task; not decline over time), and performance-avoidance goals (not be outperformed by others).


Achievement Goal Conceptualizations

The first generation of achievement goals research was based on a dichotomous framework (e.g., Dweck 1986). Two types of goals were distinguished: mastery goals and performance goals. Mastery goals were defined in terms of developing competence and task mastery and performance goals in terms of demonstrating competence relative to others. This distinction can be understood in terms of the definitionof...


Achievement Goal Mastery Goal Goal Structure Maladaptive Perfectionism Goal Complex 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Life Course and Inequality Research CentreUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monika Wróbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland