Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Anthony Paquin (Director),Dr. Steven Wininger,Dr. Reagan Brown

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study was designed to examine the relationship between a person’s goal orientation and the gender roles that they adopt. The relationship between gender and goal orientation has been studied for years, but the results have been inconclusive. Some studies find a gender difference and some studies do not. For this reason, this study examined if there was another factor that was influencing goal orientations that was related to gender.

Goal orientations are perceptual-cognitive frameworks for how individuals approach, interpret, and respond to achievement situations. Gender roles are the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that are considered acceptable and appropriate for each gender based on society and culture.

Four hundred and seventy two participants answered an online questionnaire assessing their goal orientation and gender role identification. The participants answered questions using the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scale and the Bem’s Sex Role Inventory. Overall, the results showed that higher masculinity leads to a higher motivation to succeed, and higher femininity leads to a higher motivation to avoid failure.


Cognitive Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology