The purpose of the present investigation was to extend the literature on the relationship between goal specificity, goal proximity, and performance by using high school students and attempting to control for the effects of social comparison. Subjects (N=214) in Experiment 1 were randomly assigned to one of five goal-setting conditions: (a) short-term goals, (b) long-term goals, (c) short- plus long-term goals,(d) do-your-best goals, and (e) no goals. After a 3-week baseline period, subjects were tested once a week on the 3-minute sit-up over the course of the 10-week experimental period. Results indicated that the short- plus long-term group exhibited the greatest increase in performance although the short-term and long-term groups also displayed significant improvements. In Experiment 2, a short- plus long-term group was compared against a do-your-best group. Results again revealed a significant improvement in performance for the combination-goal group whereas the do-your-best group did not display any improvement.
Robert Weinberg is with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203. Gershon Tenenbaum, Saadia Pinchas, Gabi Elbaz. and Michael Bar-Eli are at Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, Wingate Post Office Israel 42902.