This study links achievement goal theory and models of critical thinking by investigating the relationship between motivational goals and the thinking dispositions of college students enrolled in five different academic programmes in Thailand (N = 1336, males = 32.9% and females = 67.1%). We found significant differences in goal orientations and thinking dispositions across academic programmes. For example, nursing students were significantly more mastery goal-oriented and had a higher level of 'analytical' thinking disposition than students in business, engineering, education and vocational programmes. Multiple regression analysis found a positive influence of mastery goals and a negative influence of performance avoidance goals on the levels of critical thinking dispositions. We found that critical thinking dispositions are related to goal orientation response patterns and vary with the curricular context.
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