The present research tests the hypothesis that self-reactivity following an achievement prime reflects the strength of achievement goals and is a predictor of future goal-relevant performance. In Studies 1-3, undergraduates reported their grade-point averages (GPAs) following either an achievement goal prime or a control prime. Academic exaggeration (higher self-reported than official GPA) was the indicator of self-reactivity to the prime. Study 1 involved a direct achievement goal prime, whereas Studies 2 and 3 involved indirect priming techniques. In all 3 experiments, greater academic exaggeration following the achievement goal prime (but not the control prime) predicted better academic performance a semester later (based on official records). Study 4 demonstrated that the magnitude of students' GPA goals mediated the association between academic exaggeration and subsequent performance (1 year later). The fact that self-reactivity to a single achievement goal prime in the lab predicted later performance in "real life" suggests that individual differences in reactivity to a specific prime can signal much broader motivational orientations related to the primed goal.
- Implicit cognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science