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    1. p. 63

      "Research suggests that avoidance of challenge may be related to motives and goals in somewhat complex ways. Elliott and Dweck (1988), in an experimental study, found that when children were oriented toward mastery goals they were more likely to choose tasks described as challenging and offering opportunities to learn, regardless of their level of perceived ability. But when students were oriented toward performance goals, they chose challenging tasks that served to enhance others' high opinions of their abilities only if they perceived their ability to be high. Children who perceived their ability to be low and were oriented toward performance goals, in contrast, tended to choose tasks described as easy but that would avoid unfavourable judgments of their ability. Some students may feel they are in a double-bind, preferring easy work that does not threaten their self-worth, yet taking on difficult tasks in order to demonstrate their competence or superiority... Elliot and Church (1997) found that performance-approach goals were positively associated with measures of both challenge-avoidance (fear of failure) and challence-seeking motives (achievement motivation). Avoidance of challenge, then appears, to be positively associated with performance-avoidance goals and negatively related with matery goals, but may have a more complex relationship with performance-approach goals."

      In other words, the goal has to be to focus teaching and evaluation on the inculcation of mastery goals and the avoidance of situations in which students are encouraged to engage in performance-avoidance. Once they start engaging in performance avoidance, they then stop seeing challenge.

    2. pp. 72-73

      Collectively, the results of our studies suggest that avoidance behavior is more common in schools and classrooms that emphasize performance goals, primarily by making ability differences between students and competition salient features of the learning environment. These results are intuitive. When students find themselves in learning environments that promote social comparison and make ability differences between students salient, it makes sense that they will be concerned with looking able compared to others. For those students who fear or expect that they may not compare favorably with their classmates, the adoption of strategies to avoid such negative social comparisons is to be expected."

    3. p. 72

      "...when students self-handicap, cheat, fail to seek help when they need it, and avoid the types of challenging and novel academic tasks that produce real learning, they are undermining their own learning and development. Over time, such behavior can produce a self-perpetuating cycle of academic failure and increased avoidance (Zuckerman, Kieffer, and Knee 1998)."

    4. p. 71

      Gheen and Midgely 1999 examined "how teachers' reports of social comparison practices related to avoiding novelty and chellenge. They found that teachers' reports of informative social comparison practices related to slightly higher levels of avoidance. However, these practices weakened the association between self-efficacy and avoiding novelty and challenge. In classrooms where teachers were high in their use of interstudent discussion about how to improve one's own work, low- and high-efficacy students were on a more equal footing when it came to avoiding novelty challenge. However, in classrooms where teachers reported using high levels of relative ability social comparison practices, low self-efficacy students' avoidance was higher than that of high self-efficacy students'"

    5. pp. 70-71

      • Gheen and Midgley 1999 looked at classroom practices of sharing information about student work:
      • Where work was shared to "see who got the right answer" (relative ability purposes) and
      • to "get hints for when you have difficulty" (acquiring information purposes"

      No surprise:

      "They found that students' perceptions of the goal structure related to avoidance of novelty and challenge. When students perceived that their classrooms emphasized mastery goals, they reported lower levels of avoidance, but when they perceived their classrooms emphasized performance goals, they were more lilely to say that thei preferred to avoid novel and challenging work."

    6. Urdan, Tim, Allison M. Ryan, Eric M. Anderman, and Margaret H. Gheen. 2002. “Goals, Goal Stuctures, and Avoidance Behaviours.” In Goals, Goal Structures, and Patterns of Adaptive Learning, edited by C. Midgley, 55–85. Taylor & Francis.

      Looks at four behaviours associated with performance avoidance: self-handicapping, avoidance of help seeking, preference for avoiding novelty, and cheating

    1. The Journal of Experimental Education, 2005, 73(4), 333-349 Changes in Self-Efficacy, Challenge Avoidance, and Intrinsic Value in Response to Grades: The Role of Achievement Goa

      Shim, Sungok, and Allison Ryan. 2005. “Changes in Self-Efficacy, Challenge Avoidance, and Intrinsic Value in Response to Grades: The Role of Achievement Goals.” The Journal of Experimental Education 73 (4): 333–49.

      Studies the extent to which grades impact challenge avoidance. Makes a distinction between performance-avoidance goals and performance-approach goals. Argues that other literature has shown that only performance avoidance behaviour is maladaptive.

    2. Achievement goals were important to changes in motivational constructs around the receipt of grades in the classroom. As expected, the effects of a per formance-approach goal on changes in motivational constructs were moderated by grades. When students received high grades, a performance-approach goal was unrelated to changes in self-efficacy, desire to avoid challenge, or intrinsic value. However, when students received low grades, a performance-approach goal was related to decreased intrinsic value and increased desire to avoid chal lenge. Thus, although a performance-approach goal does not seem to have draw backs in the context of success, there are drawbacks when students experience setbacks

      When students achieved low grades, a performance approach goal was related to decreased intrinsic value and increased desire to avoid challenge.

    3. in recent years, some researchers have concluded that it is only perfor mance-avoidance goals that have drawbacks and that performance-approach goals promote high achievement and do not affect motivation and engagement negatively

      Performance avoidance is bad; performance approach motivation may be good.

    4. Preference to avoid challenging work. Preference to avoid challenging work (4 items) assesses students' desires for easy, familiar tasks (Urdan, Ryan, Ander man, & Gheen, 2002). Sample items are "I prefer doing work that does not make me think too hard" and "I prefer assignments that I know I can do rather than those that are a challenge." The measure was found to be reliable in our sample (a at Time 1 = .85; Time 2 = .85)

      Survey questions on preference to avoid challenging work

    5. n recent years, some research has indicated that performance-ap proach goals are beneficial for achievement and do not affect motivation nega tively (see Harackiewicz, Barron, Pintrich, Elliot, & Thrash, 2002). In particular, when the approach versus avoidance nature of performance goals is considered, performance-avoidance goals are maladaptive, whereas performance-approach goals are often positively associated with achievement and show a positive or neutral relation to motivation

      Performance approach goals are beneficial for achievement and do not affect motivation negatively, as opposed to performance-avoidance goals.

    6. udy, a mastery goal is positively associated and a performance-avoidance goal is nega tively associated with self-efficacy, challenge-seeking, and intrinsic value (Mid dleton & Midgley, 1997; Pajares, Britner, & Vahante, 2000; Skaalvik, 1997).

      Mastery goals are positively associated with "self-efficacy, challenge-seeking, and intrinsic value"; performance avoidance goals are negatively associated with these same values.

    7. contrast, a performance goal concerns a focus on demonstrating competence. Performance goals can be distinguished as either approach or avoidant (Elliot & Church, 1997; Middleton & Midgley, 1997; Skaalvik, 1997). A performance-approach goal concerns a focus on gaining favorable judgments of one's ability, and a performance-avoid ance goal concerns a focus on avoiding negative judgments of one's ability. Achievement goals represent disparate purposes for involvement regarding aca demic tasks and, as such, have been linked to different achievement-related processes and outcomes

      Performance-approach goals focus on gaining a favourable judgement;

      Performance-avoidance goal concerns a focus on avoiding negative judgements.

  7. serval.unil.ch serval.unil.ch
    1. . First,although grading has been shown to provoke challenge avoidance(Harter, 1978

      Grading has been shown to provoke challenge avoidance behaviour