Essay about The Achievement Goal Theory ( Agt )

Essay about The Achievement Goal Theory ( Agt )

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The Achievement Goal Theory (AGT; Nicholls, 1984) was developed in light of this criticism, to investigate the responses of an athlete to the type of career failure and/or decline that Armstrong experienced, particularly within a sporting context. This theory addresses the social-cognitive elements, which still provide a sound theoretical framework in the modern world of sport (Mallett & Hanrahan, 2004). AGT today is characterised by two types of motivation: Task goals and Ego goals. A task-orientated athlete would rate their competence based on their mastery of a task, and would strive for success through effort. This differs to an ego-orientated athlete who would base their competence on their superiority, and would strive for success by comparative ability to competitors (Nicholls, 1984). Studies have shown that those who are task-orientated, experience more positive emotions (Dewar & Kavussanu, 2012) which can, in some cases, increase success rates (Roberts, Treasure & Balague, 2008). It is learned from interviews, that Armstrong often compared himself to others; part of his justification for turning to PED’s was that he thought everyone else was doing it at the time and it was the only way he could stand a chance of exceeding his competitors. Armstrong also strived to win, and to gain winners titles such as the Tour de France champion, which labels and confirms his superiority to his competitors.
Further research into ego and task-orientated goals, has suggested that PED usage is more favourable amongst those possessing ego goals, and they are therefore at a greater risk of using PED’s in competitive sports (Barkoukis, Lazarus, Tsorbatzoudis & Rodafinos, 2011). This idea contrasts the research around morality in sport, as it ...


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...ngly more successful with the effort that he put into cycling from such a young age. However as his career rapidly declined between 1992 and 1996, before being diagnosed with cancer, Armstrong had become so desperate to return to his success streak that, he began to become even more aggressive both on the road and towards the media. He later admitted in his autobiography that he had lost all respect (Armstrong & Jenkins, 2000) and it was said that his confidence was the lowest it had ever been, to the point where he had even considered quitting the sport (Deoden, 2012). This frustration and aggressiveness in an athlete may simply be a reflection of the individuals’ personality, however these are also common characteristics of both the fear of failure and basic need thwarting in relation to CET (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Conroy, Elliot & Hofer, 2003; Moller & Elliot, 2006).

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