Advertisement

Who benefits from mastery-approach and performance-approach goals in college? Students’ social class as a moderator of the link between goals and grade

Article

Abstract

Although approach forms of achievement goals (mastery and performance goals) have been shown to predict academic achievement in college, recent research underscores that these associations are rather weak and not consistently observed. The present study tests students’ social class (in the present research, generational status) as a moderator of the relationships between both mastery-approach goals and performance-approach goals and final grade. One hundred students (45 first-generation students and 55 continuing-generation students, M age = 18.9, SD = 1.52) answered an achievement goal scale related to one of their classes at the beginning of the year. Their final grade for this class was obtained three months later. As expected, performance-approach goals positively predicted final grade only for upper-class students, while mastery-approach goals tend to do so for lower-class students, supporting the idea that different kinds of motivation could predict students’ achievement depending on their social class.

Keywords

Achievement goals Achievement Social class First generation College 

Notes

References

  1. Alon, S. (2009). The evolution of class inequality in higher education: competition, exclusion, and adaptation. American Sociological Review, 74(5), 731–755.  https://doi.org/10.1177/000312240907400503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderman, E. M., & Danner, F. (2008). Achievement goals and academic cheating. International Review of Social Psychology, 21(1), 155–180 Retrieved from www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-de-psychologie-sociale-2008-1-page-155.htm.Google Scholar
  3. Berger, N., & Archer, J. (2016). School socio-economic status and student socio-academic achievement goals in upper secondary contexts. Social Psychology of Education, 19(1), 175–194.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-015-9324-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J.-C., & Nice, R. (1990). Reproduction in education, society and culture (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=1990–98996-000&lang=fr&site=ehost-live&scope=cite.
  5. Collier, P. J., & Morgan, D. L. (2008). “Is that paper really due today?”: differences in first-generation and traditional college students’ understandings of faculty expectations. Higher Education, 55(4), 425–446.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-007-9065-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Covington, M. V., & Omelich, C. L. (1984). Task-oriented versus competitive learning structures: motivational and performance consequences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(6), 1038–1050.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.76.6.1038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Croizet, J.-C., & Claire, T. (1998). Extending the concept of stereotype threat to social class: the intellectual underperformance of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24(6), 588–594.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167298246003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Croizet, J.-C., Désert, M., Dutrévis, M., & Leyens, J.-P. (2001). Stereotype threat, social class, gender, and academic under-achievement: when our reputation catches up to us and takes over. Social Psychology of Education, 4(3–4), 295–310.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011336821053.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darnon, C., & Butera, F. (2005). Buts d'accomplissement, stratégies d'étude, et motivation intrinsèque : présentation d'un domaine de recherche et validation française de l'échelle d'Elliot et McGregor (2001). [Achievement goals, study strategies, and intrinsic motivation: Presentation of a research field and French validation of the Elliot et McGregor (2001)'s scale. L'Année Psychologique, 105, 105-131.Google Scholar
  10. Darnon, C., Butera, F., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2007). Achievement goals in social interactions: Learning with mastery vs. performance goals. Motivation and Emotion, 31, 61-70.Google Scholar
  11. Darnon, C., Butera, F., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2008). Toward a clarification of the effects of achievement goals. International Review of Social Psychology, 21, 5-18.Google Scholar
  12. Darnon, C., Dompnier, B., Delmas, F., Pulfrey, C., & Butera, F. (2009). Achievement goal promotion at University: Social desirability and social utility of mastery and performance goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 119–134.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012824.1
  13. Darnon, C., Dompnier, B., & Poortvliet, M. (2012). Achievement goals in educational contexts. A social psychology perspective. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 6(10), 760-771.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2012.00457.x.
  14. Dornbusch, S. M., Glasgow, K. L., & Lin, I.-C. (1996). The social structure of schooling. Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 401–429.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.47.1.401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dompnier, B., Darnon, C., & Butera, F. (2009). Faking the desire to learn: A clarification of the link between mastery goals and academic achievement. Psychological Science, 20, 939-943.Google Scholar
  16. Dompnier, B., Darnon, C., & Butera, F. (2013). When performance-approach goals predict academic achievement and when they do not: A social value approach. British Journal of Social Psychology, 52, 587-596.Google Scholar
  17. Dompnier, B., Darnon, C., Delmas, F., & Butera, F. (2008). Achievement goals and social judgment: The performance-approach goals paradox. International Review of Social Psychology, 21, 247-271.Google Scholar
  18. Dompnier B., Darnon C.,Meier E., Brandner C., Smeding A., Butera F. (2015). Improving low achievers’ academic performance at university by changing the social value of mastery goals. American Educational Research Journal, 52(4), 720–749Google Scholar
  19. Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41(10), 1040–1048.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.41.10.1040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elliot, A. J., & Church, M. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(1), 218–232.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.72.1.218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elliot, A. J., & McGregor, H. A. (1999). Test anxiety and the hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(4), 628–644.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.76.4.628.
  22. Elliot, A. J., & McGregor, H. A. (2001). A 2 × 2 achievement goal framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(3), 501–519.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.80.3.501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elliot, A. J., McGregor, H. A., & Gable, S. L. (1999). Achievement goals, study strategies, and exam performance: a mediational analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(3), 549–563.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.91.3.549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Elliott, E. S., & Dweck, C. S. (1988). Goals: an approach to motivation and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(1), 5–12 Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3346808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fiske, S. T., & Markus, H. R. (2012). Facing social class: how societal rank influences interaction (p. 272). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  26. Gecas, V. (1989). The social psychology of self-efficacy. Annual Review of Sociology, 15, 291–316.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.so.15.080189.001451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goudeau, S., Autin, F., & Croizet, J.-C. (2017). Studying, measuring and manipulating social class in social psychology: economic, symbolic and cultural approaches. International Review of Social Psychology, 30, 1–19.  https://doi.org/10.5334/irsp.52.
  28. Graham, S., & Golan, S. (1991). Motivational influences on cognition: task involvement, ego involvement, and depth of information processing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(2), 187–194.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.83.2.187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Grant, H., & Dweck, C. S. (2003). Clarifying achievement goals and their impact. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(3), 541–553.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.3.541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Carter, S. M., Lehto, A. T., & Elliot, A. J. (1997). Predictors and consequences of achievement goals in the college classroom: maintaining interest and making the grade. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(6), 1284–1295.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.73.6.1284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Pintrich, P. R., Elliot, A. J., & Thrash, T. M. (2002). Revision of achievement goal theory: necessary and illuminating. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(3), 638–635.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.94.3.638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Harackiewicz, J. M., Canning, E. A., Tibbetts, Y., Giffen, C. J., Blair, S. S., Rouse, D. I., & Hyde, J. S. (2014). Closing the social class achievement gap for first-generation students in undergraduate biology. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(2), 375–389.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1992.tb00019.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harrison, L. A., Stevens, C. M., Monty, A. N., & Coakley, C. A. (2006). The consequences of stereotype threat on the academic performance of White and non-White lower income college students. Social Psychology of Education, 9(3), 341–357.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-005-5456-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hearn, J. C., & Rosinger, K. O. (2014). Socioeconomic diversity in selective private colleges: an organizational analysis. The Review of Higher Education, 38, 71–104.  https://doi.org/10.1353/RHE.2014.0043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Huang, C. (2012). Discriminant and criterion-related validity of achievement goals in predicting academic achievement: a meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(1), 48–73.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hulleman, C. S., Schrager, S. M., Bodmann, S. M., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2010). A meta-analytic review of achievement goal measures: different labels for the same constructs or different constructs with similar labels? Psychological Bulletin, 136(3), 422–449.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ivcevic, Z., & Kaufman, J. C. (2013). The can and cannot do attitude: how self-estimates of ability vary across ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Learning and Individual Differences, 27, 144–148.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2013.07.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jagacinski, C. M., Kumar, S., & Kokkinou, I. (2008). Challenge seeking: the relationship of achievement goals to choice of task difficulty level in ego-involving and neutral conditions. Motivation and Emotion, 32(4), 310–322.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-008-9103-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jagacinski, C. M., Madden, J. L., & Reider, M. H. (2001). The impact of situational and dispositional achievement goals on performance. Human Performance, 14(4), 321–337.  https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327043HUP1404_3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jetten, J., Iyer, A., Tsivrikos, D., & Young, B. M. (2008). When is individual mobility costly? The role of economic and social identity factors. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(5), 866–879.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Johnson, S. E., Richeson, J. A., & Finkel, E. J. (2011). Middle class and marginal? Socioeconomic status, stigma, and self-regulation at an elite university. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(5), 838–852.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jury, M., Darnon, C., Dompnier, B., & Butera, F. (2017). The social utility of performance-approach goals in a selective educational environment. Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal.Google Scholar
  43. Jury, M., Smeding, A., Court, M., & Darnon, C. (2015). When first-generation students succeed at university: On the link between social class, academic performance, and performance-avoidance goals. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 41, 25-36. and performance-avoidanceGoogle Scholar
  44. Jury, M., Smeding, A., & Darnon, C. (2015). First-generation students’ underperformance at university: the impact of the function of selection. Frontiers in Pyschology, 6.  https://10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00710.
  45. Jury, M., Smeding, A., Stephens, N. M., Nelson, J. E., Aelenei, C., & Darnon, C. (2017). The Experience of Low-SES Students in Higher Education: Psychological Barriers to Success and Interventions to Reduce Social-Class Inequality. Journal of Social Issues.  https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12202.
  46. Kraus, M. W., Piff, P. K., & Keltner, D. (2011). Social class as culture: the convergence of resources and rank in the social realm. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4), 246–250.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721411414654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kraus, M. W., Piff, P. K., Mendoza-Denton, R., Rheinschmidt, M. L., & Keltner, D. (2012). Social class, solipsism, and contextualism: how the rich are different from the poor. Psychological Review, 119(3), 546–572.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0028756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kudrna, L., Furnham, A., & Swami, V. (2010). The influence of social class salience on self-assessed intelligence. Social, Behavior and Personality, 38(6), 859–864.  https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2010.38.6.859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Langhout, R. D., Drake, P., & Rosselli, F. (2009). Classism in the university setting: examining student antecedents and outcomes. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2(3), 166–181.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Tyson, D. F., & Patall, E. A. (2008). When are achievement goal orientation beneficial for academic achievement? A closer look at main effects and moderating factors. International Review of Social Psychology, 21, 21–70. Retrieved from http://www.cairn.info/revue-internationale-de-psychologie-sociale-2008-1-page-19.html.
  51. Midgley, C., Kaplan, A., & Middleton, M. (2001). Performance-approach goals: good for what, for whom, under what circumstances, and at what cost? Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 77–86.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-0663.93.1.77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91(3), 328–346.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.91.3.328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nicholls, J. G. (1989). The competitive ethos and democratic education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  54. OECD. (2014). Education at a glance: OECD indicators (p. 567). Paris: OECD Publishing.  https://doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en.Google Scholar
  55. Ostrove, J. M., & Long, S. M. (2007). Social class and belonging: implications for college adjustment. The Review of Higher Education, 30(4), 363–389.  https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2007.0028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Patrick, H., Ryan, A. M., & Pintrich, P. R. (1999). The differential impact of extrinsic and mastery goal orientations on males’ and females’ self-regulated learning. Learning and Individual Differences, 11(2), 153–171.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1041-6080(00)80003-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ramos-Sánchez, L., & Nichols, L. (2007). Self-efficacy of first-generation and non-first-generation college students: the relationship with academic performance and college adjustment. Journal of College Counseling, 10, 6–18.  https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1882.2007.tb00002.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Régner, I., Huguet, P., & Monteil, J. (2002). Effects of socioeconomic status (SES) information on cognitive ability inferences: when low-SES students make use of a self-threatening stereotype. Social Psychology of Education, 5, 253–269.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016313908667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rubin, M. (2012). Social class differences in social integration among students in higher education: a meta-analysis and recommendations for future research. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5(1), 22–38.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Senko, C., Hulleman, C. S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2011). Achievement goal theory at the crossroads: old controversies, current challenges, and new directions. Educational Psychologist, 46(1), 26–47.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2011.538646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sirin, S. R. (2005). Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: a meta-analytic review of research. Review of Educational Research, 75, 417–453.  https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543075003417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Smeding, A., Darnon, C., Souchal, C., Toczek-Capelle, M.-C., & Butera, F. (2013). Reducing the socio-economic status achievement gap at university by promoting mastery-oriented assessment. PLoS ONE, 8, 1-6.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071678.
  63. Smiley, P. A., & Dweck, C. S. (1994). Individual differences in achievement goals among young children. Child Development, 65(6), 1723–1743.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1994.tb00845.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Souchal, C., Toczek-Capelle, M. C., Darnon, C., Smeding, A., Butera, F., & Martinot, D. (2014). Assessing does not mean threatening: Assessment as a key determinant of girls' and boys' performance in a science class. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 125–136.  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12012.
  65. Spencer, B., & Castano, E. (2007). Social class is dead. Long live social class! Stereotype threat among low socioeconomic status individuals. Social Justice Research, 20, 418–432.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11211-007-0047-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stebleton, M. J., & Soria, K. M. (2012). Breaking down barriers: academic obstacles of first-generation students at research universities. The Learning and Assistance Review, 17(2), 7–19. Retrieved from https://nclca.wildapricot.org/resources/Documents/Publications/TLAR/Issues/17_2.pdf.
  67. Stebleton, M. J., Soria, K. M., & Huesman, R. L. (2014). First-generation students’ sense of belonging, mental health, and use of counseling services at public research universities. Journal of College Counseling, 17(1), 6–20.  https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1882.2014.00044.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Steele-Johnson, D., Beauregard, R. S., Hoover, P. B., & Schmidt, A. M. (2000). Goal orientation and task demand effects on motivation, affect, and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(5), 724–738.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.85.5.724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Stephens, N. M., Fryberg, S. A., Markus, H. R., Johnson, C. S., & Covarrubias, R. (2012a). Unseen disadvantage: how American universities’ focus on independence undermines the academic performance of first-generation college students. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(6), 1178–1197.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Stephens, N. M., Markus, H. R., & Phillips, L. T. (2014). Social class culture cycles: how three gateway contexts shape selves and fuel inequality. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 611–634.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stephens, N. M., Townsend, S. S. M. M., Markus, H. R., & Phillips, L. T. (2012b). A cultural mismatch: independent cultural norms produce greater increases in cortisol and more negative emotions among first-generation college students. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(6), 1389–1393.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2012.07.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stout, J. G., & Dasgupta, N. (2013). Mastering one’s destiny: mastery goals promote challenge and success despite social identity threat. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(6), 748–762.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213481067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2002). Self-esteem and socioeconomic status: a meta-analytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6(1), 59–71.  https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327957PSPR0601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Utman, C. H. (1997). Performance effects of motivational state: a meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1(2), 170–182.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0102_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Van Yperen, N. W., Blaga, M., & Postmes, T. (2014). A meta-analysis of self-reported achievement goals and nonself-report performance across three achievement domains (work, sports, and education). PLoS One, 9(4), e93594.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Van Yperen, N. W., Blaga, M., & Postmes, T. (2015). A meta-analysis of the impact of situationally induced achievement goals on task performance. Human Performance, 28, 165–182.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08959285.2015.1006772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Yzerbyt, V., Muller, D., & Judd, C. M. (2004). Adjusting researchers’ approach to adjustment: on the use of covariates when testing interactions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 424–431.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2003.10.001.

Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Céline Darnon
    • 1
  • Mickaël Jury
    • 2
  • Cristina Aelenei
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et CognitiveUniversité Clermont AuvergneClermont-Ferrand CEDEXFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire PSITEC - EA4072ESPE Lille Nord de France and Université Lille Nord de FranceVilleneuve d’AscqFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Psychologie SocialeUniversité Paris DescartesBoulogne-Billancourt CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations