Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Shultz, Kenneth


Managers and researchers alike have long yearned for a solution to garner peak performance from employees. With the use Locke and Latham’s goal setting theory as a motivational foundational principle, goal commitment was predicted from four primary personality traits commonly found in scientific literature: general self-efficacy, conscientiousness, honesty/humility, and learning goal orientation. The possible moderation effect of goal difficulty on these relationships was also explored. 248 undergraduate students at California State University, San Bernardino were presented personality inventories, followed by an anagram word task, and were assigned to either an easy or hard goal condition. Goal commitment was measured at two phases during the assigned task. The results revealed that only self-efficacy and honesty/humility were significantly positively correlated with goal commitment; however, none of the relationships were moderated by goal difficulty. The results highlight the notion that goal-setting theory is more intricate and dynamic than previously assumed. Additionally, the results of the present study provide insight into the malleable nature of motivation, as well as the highlighting specific traits that may be beneficial in the selection for difficult occupations.