Elliot's (1999) 2 X 2 model of achievement motivation: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature in physical activity and education
Stevenson, Sarah J.
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For nearly 35 years, motivation theorists have utilized an achievement goal approach to studying goal adoption. Elliot (1999) proposed changes to the classic and contemporary approaches of studying motivation. His 2 x 2 hierarchical model of achievement motivation highlighted the strengths, and minimized the weaknesses, of the study of achievement motivation. Elliot’s proposed model expanded the original mastery-performance goal dichotomy, by emphasizing two dimensions of an achievement goal framework (Elliot, 1999; Elliot & McGregor, 2001). The 2 x 2 model of achievement motivation identifies four unique goal orientations, which are presumed to account for the entire range of achievement strivings (Elliot, 1999). Since it’s proposal, the 2 x 2 model has been increasingly employed in various domains (e.g., education, sport, education). With the increasing number of empirical studies being published, there is a need to review and analyze these data. Several narrative reviews have been published. Though a narrative review can provide data about the empirical research, this form of review tends to be subjective. Meta-analysis provides a statistical method of integrating and drawing empirical conclusions about research findings. The purpose of the current study was to gather and organize the results of studies, which utilized Elliot’s (1999) 2 x 2 model of achievement motivation in physical activity and education using meta-analytic techniques. For the studies to be included in this analysis, weighted average effect sizes were be calculated to determine the strength and magnitude of antecedents and consequences for each of the four goal orientations. Studies included in the current investigation were those published between January 1999 and November 2010 in the physical activity (sport, exercise, physical education) or education domains. All studies were published in English and examined the relationship between an antecedent or consequence variable and at least one of the goals defined by Elliot’s (1999) 2 x 2 model of achievement motivation. A random-effects model was utilized, specifically, the Hunter-Schmidt method of meta-analysis. Effect sizes for common antecedents (n = 7) and consequences (n = 3) in the physical activity and education domain were examined. Low to moderate sized effect sizes were found for most antecedents in physical activity and education, whereas large effect sizes were typically found for most significant consequences. Based on the results of the current study, intervention for positive goal adoption (mastery-, performance-approach) should focus on providing a mastery climate and increases in perceived competence, while avoiding a focus on fear of failure. Additionally, incremental theory should be emphasized.