One’s achievement goal orientation (e.g., task, ego) is suggested to reflect a differential focus on skill mastery and performance outcome (Duda, 1992). Goal orientation has further been suggested to be an important observer characteristic in the observational learning of motor skills (McCullagh, Weiss, & Ross, 1989). This study assessed the relationship between goal orientation and a focus on form and outcome aspects of a motor skill demonstration with college students (N = 30) having low perceived ability, knowledge, and experience in tennis. Participants viewed several videotaped demonstrations of a correctly performed tennis forehand and then visual recognition and verbal recall accuracy of form and outcome task characteristics were assessed. A canonical correlation analysis revealed a nonsignificant relationship between goal orientation and recall and recognition of form and outcome task characteristics. These results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that goal orientation may not be an important observer characteristic in the learning phase of the modeling process. Also, achievement goal orientations may not be associated with a differential focus on skill mastery or performance outcome but instead remain a reflection of divergent processes of success evaluation.
- Goal orientation
- Observational learning