The present study investigated the effects of goal setting and feedback on task performance among university students. The study was conducted in two phases with a total of 80 participants. Locke and Latham’s (1990) goal setting theory states that assigning a specific and difficult goal and provision of feedback leads to higher performance. It was hypothesized that when assigned a specific, difficult goal on a complex task and (1) only provided with outcome feedback, higher performance would not result and (2) when provided with both outcome and process feedback, higher performance would result. A 2 x 2, between subjects ANOVA was utilized to evaluate differences in performance between the four groups. Results partially supported the hypotheses. Participants assigned a specific and difficult goal and provided only with outcome feedback performed no better than others. However, when participants were provided with both outcome and process feedback, they also performed no better than the comparison group. The results imply that the goal setting theory might not be effective for a moderately complex task in a laboratory setting. Further implications of the results and limitations of the present study are discussed.
- goal setting,
- task performance
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/trishita_mathew/4/