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《Journal of Psychological Science》 2013-06
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The Mediating Effects of Social Comparison on the Relationship between Achievement Goal and Academic Self-efficacy:Evidence from the Junior High School Students

Bai Xuejun;Liu Xu;Liu Zhijun;Academy of Psychology and Behavior,Tianjin Normal University;School of Education,Hunan University of Science and Technology;  
The achievement goal theory is a prominent social cognitive theory of motivation,and it is an important part of achievement goal study. Recently,researchers in the field divide achievement goal into four types: mastery approach goal,mastery avoidance goal, performance approach goal,and performance avoidance goal. In social comparison,the individual compared his / her character quality, standpoint and behavior with those of others. It is a common social psychological phenomenon for human beings. Academic self- efficacy is the representation of self- efficacy in the academic field,reflecting the individual's confidence in academic ability. A series of previous studies have investigated the role of achievement goal,social comparison,and academic self- effect separately,and some of which further examined the relationship between the two variables. There are very few studies,however,to investigate the relationship among all the three variables. In the present study,we examined the relationship among the achievement goals,social comparison and academic self- efficacy. We especially investigated the mediating effect of social comparison on the relationship between achievement goals and academic self-efficacy. There are three scales mentioned in the current study: Achievement goals Orientation Scale with four dimensions( mastery approach goal,mastery avoidance goal,performance approach goal,and performance avoidance goal),the parts of Iowa- Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measures including upward comparison and downward comparison,and Academic Self- Efficacy Questionnaire composed by the self- efficacy of learning ability and learning activity. 847 questionnaires were sent out to 4 junior high schools in Hunan Province,and 724 of which have been recovered,with the valid recovery rate of 85. 48%. There were 336 males and 388 females. All data were analyzed by the software of SPSS 15. 0. Correlation analyses showed that the master approach goal and performance approach goal positively correlated with upward comparison,learning ability self- efficacy and learning activity self- efficacy,and negatively correlated with downward comparison. Secondly, there were another two negative correlations as follows: the master avoidance goal negatively correlated with study behavior self- efficacy,and the performance avoidance goal and downward comparison negatively correlated with academic self- efficacy. Furthermore,the performance avoidance goal positively correlated with downward; and upward comparison positively correlated with academic self- efficacy. The mediating analyses showed that the relationship among master approach goal,performance approach goal and study ability self- efficacy were mediated by upward comparison partially; otherwise,downward comparison not only mediated the relationship between performance approach goal and study ability self- efficacy partially,but also mediated master approach goal,performance approach goal,performance avoidance goal and study behavior self- efficacy. As described above,we argued that,for junior school students,their achievement goals had an effect on their academic self- efficacy in a direct way. Besides,the academic self- efficacy was also affected by the achievement goals indirectly.
【Fund】: 教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地重大项目(08JJDXLX266)的资助
【CateGory Index】: G635.5
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