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Perfectionism and exam performance: The mediating effect of task-approach goals

Stoeber, Joachim, Haskew, Amy E., Scott, Charlotte (2015) Perfectionism and exam performance: The mediating effect of task-approach goals. Personality and Individual Differences, 74 . pp. 171-176. ISSN 0191-8869. (doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.10.016) (KAR id:43395)

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Perfectionistic strivings are positively correlated with students’ achievement goals and exam performance. However, so far no study has employed a prospective design investigating whether achievement goals mediate the positive relationship between perfectionistic strivings and exam performance. In the present study, 100 university students completed a measure of self-oriented perfectionism and socially prescribed perfectionism (Hewitt & Flett, 1991) and received a chapter from a textbook to study for 2-4 days. Then they returned to the lab to complete a measure of achievement goals following the 3 x 2 model (Elliot, Murayama, & Pekrun, 2011) and sit a mock exam testing their knowledge of the chapter. Multiple regressions showed that socially prescribed perfectionism negatively predicted exam performance when the overlap with self-oriented perfectionism was controlled for. In contrast, self-oriented perfectionism—a defining indicator of perfectionistic strivings—positively predicted exam performance. Moreover, task-approach goals mediated the positive relationship between self-oriented perfectionism and exam performance. The findings suggest that perfectionistic strivings make students adopt task-approach goals that help them achieve better results on exams.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.10.016
Uncontrolled keywords: perfectionism; 3 x 2 achievement goals; academic achievement; exam performance; multiple choice tests; mediation analysis; suppression
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Joachim Stoeber
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 13:48 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Stoeber, Joachim:
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