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Research shows that challenging and specific goals in conjunction with high self-efficacy lead to higher levels of task performance. The impact of repeated success and failure on personal goals and self-efficacy was examined. Undergraduate students initially participated in two-idea generation tasks in which they generated different uses for common objects, such as a knife, which provided them with opportunities to either succeed or fail in goal attainment. Participants then set personal goals and judged their self-efficacy for a subsequent idea generation trial. Our results show that participants who experienced repeated successes set higher personal goals than did those with only a single success, while self-efficacy was not significantly influenced by repeated success or failure. These findings suggest that situational and personal factors such as reactions to prior successes and failures may influence personal goals on future tasks, but do not seem to have an influence on self-efficacy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2004

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