Achievement Goal Framework

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The diagram above depicts the 2 x 2 Achievement Goal Framework, with mastery goals which are intrapersonal, and performance goals which are socially comparative. These two types of achievement goals are further categorised into positive and negative valences; approaching success and avoiding failure respectively. Kiasu Behaviours Kiasu is a word of Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) origin, the literal translation being "the fear of losing out" (Ho et. al. 1998). Kiasu reflects an “obsessive concern with getting the most out of every transaction and a desire to get ahead of others” (Hwang, Ang, & Francesco, 2002: 75). Kiasu tendency can manifest itself in many tactics. Hwang et al. (2002) identified two distinct kiasu tactics: kiasu-positive…show more content…
Elliot & McGregor (2001) has established that mastery avoidance and performance avoidance goals are associated with the ‘fear of failure’. Since a ‘fear of losing out’ and ‘fear of failure’ are conceptually similar, there could possibly be a positive relationship between them. Performance approach goals involve the attainment of competency relative to others. With a performance goal orientation, there is a concern with being judged able, and one shows evidence of ability by being successful, by outperforming others (Ames & Archer, 1988). As the results obtained are more tangible, this spirit of competition and excessive ambition may serve as a stronger impetus for students to resort to more extreme means by adopting kiasu-negative tactics, in order to derive a greater sense of satisfaction after claiming victory over their…show more content…
The adoption of the mastery approach goal leads one to develop the need to improve his competence, and these goals are believed to be more intrapersonal (without relation to one’s peers). This means that mastery approach goals are more likely to stem from the individual’s desire to succeed for personal satisfaction. Since this desire to attain success is innate and not so much comparative, students may not use extreme means to achieve academic success. H3: Both Kiasu-Positive and Kiasu-Negative Behaviours Lead to Greater Academic Achievement. Kiasu-positive tactics propel students to place additional effort into their work, a tactic clearly associated with improved academic performance (Kirby & Ross, 2007). On the other hand, kiasu-negative tactics are likely to aid in gaining competitive advantage over fellow students in terms of exams (Kirby & Ross, 2007). Hence, it has been assumed that this gain in competitive advantage will allow one to attain higher academic achievement.
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