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The present study investigated the effect of three goal-setting groups (self-set, assigned, and control) and three levels of self-efficacy (low, medium, and high) on bowling performance of college students (N = 288). The performance/retention trials were analyzed in a 3 × 2 × 10 (Goal Conditions × Self-Efficacy Levels × Trials) ANCOVA design, with repeated measures on the last factor and baseline performance as the covariate. Results of the data analysis revealed a significant main effect for self-efficacy (SE) levels for males and females. Individuals at high and medium SE levels performed significantly better than those at a low SE level. The nonsignificant main effect for goal groups was attributed to the spontaneous goal-setting behavior of the control group. Finally, there was a main effect for trials and planned comparisons indicated that as trials progressed female students improved. Evidence of a performance plateau was present for male students, as they showed marginal improvement across trials.
B. Ann Boyce is with the Program Area of Health and Physical Education, Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, Memorial Gymnasium, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Sarah M. Bingham is with the HPERD Department at Longwood College, Lancer 151, Farmville, VA 23909.