On Learning, Again

Carol Dweck, a famous psychologist has a paper titled: Goals: An approach to Motivation and Achievement. Carol explains (like in the last post) that there are two kinds of goals that affects directly the achievement patterns: learning-oriented and performance-oriented. She quotes:

Individuals who pursue performance goals are concerned with the measurement of their ability and can be seen as posing the question, Is my ability adequate? Sub-sequent events, such as failure outcomes, may be seen as providing information that is relevant to this question, leading some individuals (particularly those who may already doubt their ability) to low ability attributions and their sequelae.

In contrast, individuals who pursue learning goals are concerned with developing their ability over time and can be seen as posing the question, How can I best acquire this skill or master this task? Subsequent events, such as failure outcomes, may then provide information that is relevant to this question, leading individuals to alter their strategies or escalate their efforts. Here, even individuals with poor opinions of their current ability should display the mastery-oriented pattern, because (a) they are not focused on judgments of their current ability, (b) errors are not as indicative of goal failure within a learning goal, and (c) low current ability in a valued area may make skill acquisition even more desirable.

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