Achievement Goals, Self-Handicapping, and Performance Attainment: A Mediational Analysis

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Andrew J. ElliotUniversity of Rochester

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Francois CuryProvence University CNRS and Nice University

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James W. FryerUniversity of Rochester

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Pascal HuguetProvence University CNRS

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The present experiment was designed to examine the mediational role of self-handicapping in the relationship between achievement goals and performance on a sport-based activity (i.e., a basketball dribbling task). The achievement goals of the trichotomous achievement goal framework were manipulated, behavioral and self-reported self-handicapping opportunities were provided, and performance attainment was assessed. Performance-avoidance goals led to worse performance and evoked higher levels of behavioral and self-reported self-handicapping than performance-approach and mastery goals. Both forms of self-handicapping were found to have independent mediational effects on decreased performance. Implications for the adoption of achievement goals and the use of self-handicapping strategies are discussed.

Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627

CNRS UMR 6146, Provence University, 13331 Marseille Cedex 1, France, and Nice University

Laboratory of Cognitive Psychology, Provence University.

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