The effect of goal difficulty and goal orientation on running performance in young female athletes

Article


Tenenbaum, Gershon, Spence, Ron and Christensen, Steven. 1999. "The effect of goal difficulty and goal orientation on running performance in young female athletes." Australian Journal of Psychology. 51 (1), pp. 6-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049539908255328
Article Title

The effect of goal difficulty and goal orientation on running performance in young female athletes

ERA Journal ID6116
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsTenenbaum, Gershon (Author), Spence, Ron (Author) and Christensen, Steven (Author)
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Psychology
Journal Citation51 (1), pp. 6-11
Number of Pages6
Year1999
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationChichester, West Sussex. United Kingdom
ISSN0004-9530
1742-9536
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/00049539908255328
Web Address (URL)http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1080/00049539908255328/pdf
Abstract

Locke and Latham (1985) hypothesised that goals are more efficiently attained when they are perceived to be difficult but realistic to achieve. Furthermore, goal orientation is believed to be a strong determinant of effort exertion and adherence in performing tasks. To verify these two concepts, in real-life situations, 28 young female runners (13–16 years) were blocked (randomly assigned) to one of three goal-difficulty conditions over a 4-week period: easy, difficult/realistic, and improbable/unattainable. Short-term goals for each condition were set (1.25%, 2.5%, and 3.75% improvement per week, respectively), as were long-term goals (5%, 10%, and 15% overall improvement, respectively). Participants completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire prior to the goal intervention. Locke and Latham's (1985) goal attainability hypothesis was not supported by the results of the study, as athletes enhanced their running performance equally regardless of their specific goals. Both ego and task orientations were found to be moderately but significantly correlated with running improvement rate. However, task and ego orientation were found to be significantly correlated to each other, indicating that, in this sample of athletes, these two orientations were not independent of each other. Together, they accounted for 30% of the improvement rate variance across 4 weeks. The additive effect of goal orientation and goal setting on athletic performance should be investigated for a longer period of time and with experienced athletes of a high calibre.

ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520406. Sensory processes, perception and performance
520107. Sport and exercise psychology
420799. Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

Copyright 1999 Australian Psychological Society.
Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Psychology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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