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Journal of Applied Psychology

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In this study we examine the role played by perceived goal importance and self-focus in the goal-setting process. More specifically, this study tests the interactive hypotheses that (a) task performance is a function of goal level, self-focus, and perceived goal importance; (b) goal level is a function of perceptions of past performance, self-focus, and perceived goal importance; and (c) perceptions of past performance are a function of actual past performance, self-focus, and perceived goal importance. Hierarchical regression analysis, using a sample of 88 retail salespersons, revealed empirical support for the first two hypotheses. Specifically, the variables described by control theory account for an increment of 6 and 8% of the variance explained in task performance and self-set goal level, respectively. Finally, implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.


Copyright © 1987 American Psychological Association.

This is a post-print version of an article originally published in American Psychology Association.

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