Comparing and Contrasting Goal-Setting Theory and Cognitive Evaluation Theory


The two theories that I want to talk about are Goal-Setting Theory and Cognitive Evaluation Theory. The Goal-Setting Theory states that to correctly direct ourselves and achieve our tasks, we have to set goals. Cognitive Evaluation Theory is a theory that states that all people have a strong desire to determine their actions and when that feeling is taken away the person's desire will decrease from the activity. I feel as though goal-setting and cognitive evaluation theories could have similarities because both talk about how people have a certain way that they complete their tasks and when you set goals and receive good feedback then it could result in you working harder and achieving your goal. 

The Goal-Setting Goal theory says that we need feedback so we can determine whether we are succeeding or whether we need to change direction. That we find feedback very encouraging and motivating, including feedback from ourselves. Negative self-talk is just as demotivating as negative comments from other people. The Cognitive Evaluation Theory also states that people tend to be more successful when receiving positive feedback, causing them to be more influenced and encouraged when completing a task. They both correlate to your behavior because in both circumstances you are learning and becoming more focused and dedicated to your work. There are also a few differences between the two theories.

Although both theories focus on how the person reacts to a certain task they are also different in their span of research. The Goal-Setting Goal theory focuses mainly on being clear and understandable, challenging and achievable. The theory has two different goals which are the directional goal, where we are motivated to arrive at a particular conclusion, and the accuracy goal, which is when we are motivated to arrive at the most accurate possible conclusion. In a workplace, you are always striving to be the best and do as much as possible so receiving positive feedback from bosses can lead you to push harder and reward yourself. This would be cognitive evaluation because you are more focused on making others happy and when doing so you feel more accomplished. In the goal-setting theory, you are more focused on yourself and the goals that you are trying to reach. For instance, if you want to get a good grade on an exam you are going to set goals for you to get that good grade such as setting a specific study time and making sure you research it. These two differences are shown as a problem because you are relying on other people to make you happy instead of focusing on yourself and your behavior towards things. You should always do things for yourself and not others to be happy. 

Using the goal-setting theory to something that I learned in my previous English class is that to write a good paper you need a goal for that paper. When writing a paper you need steps and an outline in order for you to write a well-spoken paper. These steps in writing a paper are what establishes a goal. The goal-setting theory applies to my English class and the tasks I had to complete because writing papers in those classes require you to have a goal and when writing you must be clear and understandable, challenging, and achievable which are all parts of the goal of writing a paper in English class.

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