Corwin Senko,   
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department
SUNY New Paltz

Corwin Senko
Associate Professor, Psychology Department, SUNY New Paltz


Research Interests

Why do some students expend enormous effort while others coast?  Why do some students find their classes interesting while others do not? Why do some people enjoy challenge while others shy away from it?  Which study strategies aid performance, and which do not?  These are the sorts of motivation questions that I pursue in my research. In particular, using Achievement Goal Theory as the guiding framework, I investigate how the goals students pursue for a class affect their educational experience -- that is, their interest in the material, the study strategies they use, whether they procrastinate, how well they learn the material and perform in the class, and their evaluations of teacher effectiveness. 

Publications (* indicates graduate or undergraduate student co-author)

  • Senko, C., & Dawson, B.* (in press). Performance-approach goal effects depend on how they are defined: Meta-analytic evidence from multiple outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Senko, C., & Tropiano, K. L.* (2016). Comparing three models of achievement goals: Goal orientations, goal standards, and goal complexes. Journal of Educational Psychology. [abstract]
  • Senko, C. (2016). Achievement goal theory: A story of early promises, eventual discords, and future possibilties. Chapter to appear in K. Wentzel & D. Miele (Eds.), Handbook of Motivation at School, Vol. 2.
  • Senko, C., & Freund, A. M. (2015). Are mastery-avoidance goals always detrimental? An adult development perspective. Motivation and Emotion, 39, 477-488. [abstract]
  • Senko, C., & Hulleman, C. S. (2013). The role of goal attainment expectancies in achievement goal pursuit. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 504-521. [abstract]
  • Senko, C., Hama, H.*, & Belmonte, K.* (2013). Achievement goals, study strategies, and achievement. A test of the "learning agenda" framework. Learning and Individual Differences, 24, 1-10. [abstract]   
  • Senko, C., Durik, A. M., Patel, L., Lovejoy, C. M., & Valentiner, D. (2013). Performance-approach goal effects on achievement under low versus high challenge conditions. Learning & Instruction, 23, 60-68. [abstract]
  • Senko, C., Belmonte, K.*, & Yakhkind, A.* (2012). How students' achievement goals shape their beliefs about effective teaching: A "Build-A-Professor" study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 420-435. [abstract]
  • Senko, C., Hulleman, C. S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2011). Achievement goal theory at the crossroads: Old controversies, current challenges, and new directions. Educational Psychologist, 46, 26-47. [abstract]
  • Hulleman, C. S., & Senko, C. (2010).Up around the bend: Forecasts for achievement goal theory and research in 2020. In Urdan & Karabenick (Eds.), Advances in Motivation and Achievement, (Vol. 16). United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing, LTD. [abstract]
  • Senko, C. & Fyffe, V.* (2010). An evolutionary perspective on effective vs. ineffective pick-up lines. Journal of Social Psychology150, 648-667. [abstract] 
  • Senko, C. & Miles, K. M.* (2008). Pursuing their own learning agenda: How mastery-oriented students jeopardize their exam performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33, 561-583[abstract]
  • Senko, C., Durik, A. M., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2008).  Historical perspectives and new directions in achievement goal theory: Understanding the effects of mastery and performance-approach goals. In J. Y Shah & W. Gardner (Eds.), Handbook of Motivational Science. New York: Guilford. [abstract]
  • Senko, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2005).  Regulation of achievement goals: The role of competence feedback.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 320-336. [abstract
  • Senko, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2005). Achievement goals, task performance, and interest: Why perceived goal difficulty matters. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1739-1753. [abstract]
  • Senko, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2002).  Performance goals: The moderating role of context, achievement orientation, and feedback.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 603-610. [abstract]