The influence of conscientiousness and goal orientation on performance of a complex task
Higgins, Kelly D.
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This research investigated the influence of conscientiousness and goal orientation on performance of a complex task. Goal orientation may be either performance or learning. Goal orientation and perceived ability are expected to interact to create either a mastery or helpless behavior pattern and influence performance. Conscientiousness was measured while goal orientation and perceived ability were manipulated. Behavior pattern and performance were the dependent variables. Regressions were used to analyze the relationships. The perceived ability manipulation was successful while the goal orientation manipulation was not. Results indicated that goal orientation and perceived ability did interact to influence performance but not behavior pattern. However, the means were not in the predicted direction. Conscientiousness did not influence performance but was related to behavior pattern. However, conscientiousness may have a stronger relationship to subjective performance measures such as supervisor ratings than objective measures. The behavior pattern measure is a self-rating of performance behaviors and would qualify as a subjective measure of performance. The present finding supports the distinction between subjective and objective measures of performance when investigating the influence of conscientiousness.