Research Online

Logo

Goldsmiths - University of London

The Role of Working Memory in Achievement Goal Pursuit

Avery, Rachel; Smillie, Luke and De Fockert, J. W.. 2013. The Role of Working Memory in Achievement Goal Pursuit. Acta Psychologica, 144(2), pp. 361-372. ISSN 0001-6918 [Article]

[img]
Preview
Text (The role of working memory in achievement goal pursuit)
PSY-deFockertJW-2013.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (500kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The present research examined the role of working memory in the pursuit of qualitatively different achievement goals. Pursuit of a mastery-approach goal entails a focus on developing self-referential competence while a performance-approach goal entails a focus on demonstrating normative competence. Across two experiments it was found that, when working memory is loaded, individuals pursuing a mastery-approach goal experienced larger performance decrements than individuals pursuing a performance-approach goal or those in a no-goal control. It was also found that reliance upon working memory intensive strategies (explicit strategies) was more evident for those in a mastery-approach condition, whereas reliance upon less working memory intensive strategies (implicit strategies) was more evident for those in the performance-approach condition. Results suggest that a motivated focus on developing self-referential skill relies heavily on working memory, facilitated by the use of deliberative, ‘step-by-step’ strategies during goal pursuit. Conversely, a focus on demonstrating normative skill depends less on working memory, facilitated by the use of more heuristic ‘short-cut’ strategies during goal pursuit. These findings show, for the first time, that working memory plays an important, but selective, role in achievement goal pursuit.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2013.07.012

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
October 2013Published

Item ID:

8656

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2013 07:54

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 18:58

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/8656

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)