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Level of Aspiration Measures and College Achievement

Ricciuti, Henry N.; Schultz, Douglas G.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
United States Air Force, Academic Aspiration, American Council on Education Psychological Examinations, Aptitude Tests, Aspiration, Goal Orientation, Grade Point Average (GPA), Personality Measures


The purpose of this study was to provide some indication as to the amount and kind of relationship between general college achievement and goal discrepancy scores derived from certain group level of aspiration techniques recently developed. Goal discrepancy scores for several groups of college students were derived from aspiration statements made in connection with two group experimental tests and with regular course examinations. These discrepancy scores were correlated with scores from a scholastic aptitude test and with Grade-Point Average during the previous year at college. Partial correlation coefficients were computed between the goal discrepancy scores and Grade-Point Average, holding scholastic aptitude scores constant. There was no evidence uncovered to support the existence of a relationship between any of the goal discrepancy scores investigated and past academic achievement, whether or not scholastic aptitude is held constant. No curvilinear trends were discovered in the data. No consistent differences in the various correlations were apparent between aspiration instructions asking for expectations and instructions asking for goals.

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