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Task Enjoyment: A Mediator Between Achievement Motives and Performance

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Abstract

Task enjoyment is an important component in social cognitive theories of achievement motivation and intrinsic motivation. Combining these theories with the classic achievement-motivation theory we predicted that task enjoyment and its facilitating behavioral manifestations are associated with an approach-oriented achievement motive and only when individuals anticipate forthcoming competence feedback. In the present study we regarded task enjoyment as a mediator between the achievement motive and performance. First, a two-way ANOVA design was adopted. Success-motivated individuals performed better in a reaction task than failure-motivated individuals, and they reported more task enjoyment during performance. This relationship was not dependent on whether competence information had been announced or not. Second, path analyses showed as expected that the relationship between achievement motivation and performance was mediated by task enjoyment. This mediation was observed only under the condition that individuals expected competence feedback. These results were discussed considering current theories of achievement motivation and intrinsic motivation. It is shown that the findings enrich the related nomological networks in some important ways.

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Puca, R.M., Schmalt, HD. Task Enjoyment: A Mediator Between Achievement Motives and Performance. Motivation and Emotion 23, 15–29 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021327300925

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