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Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 189–211 | Cite as

College Goals: Do Self-Determined and Carefully Considered Goals Predict Intrinsic Motivation, Academic Performance, and Adjustment During the First Semester?

  • Regina Conti
Article

Abstract

The present study investigated whether choosing autonomous goals for pursuing a college education and reflecting on those goals promotes intrinsic motivation toward coursework, higher grades and improved adjustment to college over time. Incoming first-year college students responded to the College Goals Questionnaire before starting classes, and to the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire and the Work Preference Inventory during their first semester. Results indicated that the degree to which students who reflected on their goals had high levels of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The autonomy of students' goals predicted grade point average, high intrinsic motivation, low extrinsic motivation, and improvement in social and emotional adjustment over time. These findings contribute to the literature on personal goals by establishing the importance of having well-thought- through and autonomous goals during the transition to college.

Keywords

Intrinsic Motivation Grade Point Average Personal Goal Grade Point Extrinsic Motivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina Conti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColgate UniversityHamiltonU.S.A.

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