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Although research has identified a consistent effect of assigned goals on performance, the goal-setting literature is limited by inattention to the effects of situational variables in goal setting and to the question of the individual's affective costs in attaining difficult goals. The present laboratory study addressed both issues in examining the effects of reward-mediated competition and competitive feedback in relation to goal setting. Specifically, the study examined the relations among assigned goals, reward-mediated competition, and competitive feedback in terms of stress, time urgency, and perceived workload with two (creativity and manual) tasks. The study found that subjects assigned difficult goals reported a significantly higher level of stress than did subjects without assigned goals. When subjects competed for a reward, the provision of feedback about competitors' performance (competitive feedback) consistently resulted in significantly less stress, perceived time urgency and perceived work load, than when no competitive feedback was provided. Contrary to much research, reward-mediated competition did not significantly increase subjects' perceived stress, perceived time urgency, or perceived workload.