Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Herbert Colle (Committee Member), Jean Edwards (Committee Member), David Lahuis (Committee Member), Debra Steele-Johnson (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of individual difference factors, i.e., core self evaluations, cognitive ability, and task specific self-efficacy, on self-set goals and whether those effects were moderated by an assigned team goal in a pre-team context. It was hypothesized that the relationship between individual difference factors and self-set goals for potential team members would be differentially affected by the difficulty of the assigned team goal. I assessed these relationships for individual performance and individual satisfaction. In addition, I examined whether gender, task type, and team composition interacted in their effects on self-set goals. A total of 836 university students (404 males and 434 females) participated in this study. Team assigned goal (easy or difficult), team task type (quantitative or verbal) and team composition (all males, all females, and cross-balanced) were manipulated to create 12 experimental conditions. The task was to generate a high school level knowledge test by selecting, solving, and categorizing items from a predetermined test bank that was created for the purposes of this study. To accomplish this, participants set a goal for their projected contribution to the team after they were assigned the team goal. They worked individually and independently to prepare for the team task in a pre-team context. The study included measures of core self evaluations, cognitive ability, task specific self-efficacy, and self-set goals at the individual level. Results of this study provide initial evidence of the importance of accounting for variance at both the individual and team levels in self-set goals, individual performance and individual satisfaction. Further, the knowledge of an assigned team goal prior to team interaction does affect individual self-set goals, individual performance, and individual satisfaction. This study was an initial effort to understand the joint effects of dispositional and situational factors at the individual and team level on individual motivation and performance in a pre-team context. Future multilevel research is needed to explore other team level factors such as task type, team size, team structure, and team composition and other individual level factors such as conscientiousness and cognitive styles. Most importantly, research simultaneously examining individual and team level factors is required if we are to increase our understanding of the functioning of individuals in pre-team and within team contexts.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded