INTENTIONS AND LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE
Locke, E. A. (1966). The relationship of intentions to level of performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 50, 60-66.
The notion of a linear relationship between level of intended achievement and level of performance was supported. The easy or lowest levels of expectation failed most.
Ss set moderate levels of intended achievement if given the choice and told to do as well as possible. External suggestions to raise standards resulted in a marked increase in performance. When standards were very hard Ss still continued with high output although they were rarely able to beat the standards.
This study does not support the contention that performance is maximized when the probability of successful goal achievement is 50%.
Implication. Goals need to be challenging and difficult without being considered "impossible." Athletes who constantly set moderate goals will not improve optimally in their sporting experience.
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