Performance and mastery orientation of high school and university/college students: A rasch perspective

Publication Date



This investigation assesses performance and mastery orientation from a Rasch perspective among high school and university students and provides a complementary approach to the factor analytic methods typical in goal theory research. Data shows that both school and university students are high in mastery orientation relative to performance orientation, and there is broad agreement for the separation of performance and mastery orientation. However, there are fewer school—university differences on performance orientation than mastery orientation, with university students more mastery oriented than high school students. Although performance orientation holds up well from a psychometric perspective, data indicates that for both school and university samples, mastery orientation items do not adequately differentiate high— from low—mastery-oriented students. Finally, the Rasch approach suggests that for both school and university students, there may exist a hierarchical structure to performance and mastery orientation. Implications for goal theory and the measurement of goal orientations are discussed.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

This document is currently not available here.