Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Consumer Science

First Advisor

Corinne Novell

Committee Member 1

Stewart Chang Alexander

Committee Member 2

David Evans


Because sales competitions simulate real sales calls (Mani, Kothandaraman, Kashyap, & Ashnai, 2015), identifying predictors of performance in collegiate sales competitions could be useful to both researchers and recruiters for screening potential employees. The current research examines how constructs consistent with a social-cognitive account of behavior (Dweck & Leggett, 1988), including implicit theories of selling ability, need for cognition, goal orientations, and self-efficacy predict outcomes, such as, performance within sales competitions. The results support many of the hypothesized relationships. This research replicates and extends prior research on goal orientations and sales behavior by adding cognitive predictors and by examining sales performance and other outcomes in a new setting (university sales competitions), yielding new screening tools for recruiters.