Other Developments

Other researchers have adopted a more complex perspective on goals, arguing that there are many different kinds of goals individuals can have in achievement settings. For instance, Ford and Nichols (1987) extended this point of view into within-person goals and person-environment goals, which lays equal significance on learners per se and learning environment.

Nevertheless, all the theories are devoted to studying the types of goals as well as their impact on multiple facets of learning. In other words, research that takes goals as a dependent variable remains scarce. Such a strategy to take goals for granted could be defended on the grounds that one cannot deal with all aspects of so complex an issue and that the theorists possibly feel the question of how goals originate was not relevant to the models they developed. What I am arguing is leaving the ontogenesis of things aside will mask the true reason how everything that follows comes into being.

On the other hand, young children are frequently ignored within this area, based on the assumption that they might not have a clear pattern of setting a goal or they even do not own a goal when starting a task. Klahr (1985) argued that although there are large adult-child differences in overall problem-solving performance, even preschoolers have rudimentary forms of strategies such as means-ends analysis that rely on the use of goals. Thus, expanding the subject selection range and focusing on the process of goal-setting are expected to be the two main tasks in future research direction.