Task and ego goal orientations in competitive sport: A quantitative review of the literature from 1989 to 2016

Marc Lochbaum, Zişan Kazak Çetinkalp, Kara Aretha Graham, Taylor Wright, Ricardo Zazo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Achievement goal theory (AGT) is a dominant theoretical framework. The purposes of this review were (1) to provide a summary of the task and ego goal orientations literature in competitive sport as measured by the Task and Ego Orientations in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) or the Perceptions of Success in Sport Questionnaire (POSQ), (2) to test the interdependence of the two goal orientations, and (3) to provide the estimated means for both orientations across a number of historically examined moderator variables. 260 studies met inclusion criteria totaling 80,959 unique participants across 39 countries and 32 sports. Youth samples were nearly 50% of all included studies. The meta-analyzed intercorrelations (rw=.18, z=9.96, p<.000) supported the conceptualized interdependence of the two goal orientations. The estimated mean values were 4.15±.30 (task) and 3.04±.51 (ego). However, differences, POSQ compared to TEOSQ, existed in the estimated means (g=.92 task; g=1.09 ego). Thus, the TEOSQ and POSQ samples for the moderator variables (i.e. sex, sport level, sport type, and collective/individualistic countries) were examined separately. Results both supported and refuted the hypotheses and also differed by measure. Because of TEOSQ and POSQ inconsistencies, an additional analysis was undertaken to examine whether the TEOSQ and POSQ differed to a common correlate motivation climate. This analysis revealed measurement differences in the ego to ego climate relationships. In conclusion, AGT has been extensively researched in competitive sport. The inconsistent pattern of results raises a number of future research questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-29
Number of pages27
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Achievement goal theory
  • Achievement goals
  • Motivation
  • Perception of success questionnaire
  • Task and ego orientation in sport questionnaire


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