The trichotomous achievement goal model and intrinsic motivation: a sequential mediational analysis


  • Cury François
  • Elliot Andrew
  • Sarrazin Philippe
  • da Fonseca David
  • Rufo Marcel


  • Achievement goal
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Competence valuation
  • Anxiety
  • Task absorption

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This experiment was designed to extend the research by Elliot and Harackiewicz (1996) on the trichotomous achievement goal model in several important ways and to more thoroughly document the processes through which the goals in the trichotomous model influence intrinsic motivation. Results indicated that performance–avoidance goals undermined intrinsic motivation relative to performance–approach and mastery goals; the latter goals evidenced the same intrinsic motivation. These results were obtained using highly evaluative performance goal manipulations, with early adolescent participants, and for a motor task relevant to physical ability. Sequential mediational analyses revealed that competence valuation, state anxiety, and task absorption processes accounted for the observed effects. Perceived competence served neither mediating nor moderating roles.

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