Motivation: Issues and Explanations

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Motivation: Issues and Explanations

Chapter 10


  • What Is Motivation?

  • Four General Approaches to Motivation

  • Goal Orientation and Motivation

  • Interests and Motivation

  • Self-Schemas

Concept Map for Chapter 10


  • Motivation defined:

  • Internal state

  • Arouses, directs, maintains behavior

  • Intrinsic/Extrinsic

  • Locus of causality

Four General Approaches to Motivation

Behavioral Approach

  • Rewards are consequences of behaviors

  • Incentives encourage or discourage behaviors

Humanistic Approaches

  • Third force psychology

  • Emphasis on personal choice

  • Needs

  • Self-actualization/Self-determination

  • Maslow’s hierarchy

  • See Figure 10.1, Woolfolk, p. 371 and PointCounterpoint p. 372

Maslow’s Hierarchy

  • Deficiency needs

  • Survival

  • Pre-requisite

  • Survival

  • Safety

  • Belonging

  • Self-esteem

  • Intellect/achievement

  • Aesthetics

  • Self-actualization

Cognitive Perspective

  • Focus on thinking

  • Emphasizes intrinsic motivation

  • People are active and curious

  • Plans, goals, schemas, and expectations

Cognitive Perspective

  • Attribution theory

  • Perceived cause of successes or failures

  • Locus

  • Stability

  • Responsibility

Attribution Theory

Weiner’s Terms

  • Locus

  • Stability

  • Responsibility

  • Internal/external

  • Stable/unstable

  • Controllable/uncontrollable

Examples of Attribution Theory

  • Internal locus, stable, controllable:

  • I am good at studying for multiple choice tests, so I will do well on the next Educational Psychology Exam.

  • Internal, stable, uncontrollable:

  • Essay tests are always hard for me, so I won’t do well in American Literature.

Sociocultural Conceptions of Motivation

  • Emphasizes participation in communities of practice

  • Legitimate peripheral participation

  • Relate to authentic tasks

  • See table 10.2, Woolfolk, p. 376 for a comparison of all four approaches

Goal Orientation and Motivation

Why Goals Improve Performance

Four Kinds of Goals

  • Learning goals/task-involved

  • Performance goals/ego-involved

  • Work-avoidance goals

  • Social goals

  • The need for relatedness

They won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Feedback & Goal Acceptance: Effective Goals Are

  • Specific

  • Challenging

  • Attainable

  • Focused on the task

  • Supported by social relationships

  • Reinforced with feedback

  • Accepted by the student

See Family and Community Partnerships, Woolfolk, p. 380.

Reflection Questions

  • What goal have you set for yourself recently?

  • Did you follow good goal setting principles?

  • How can you improve your personal goal setting practices?

  • How does goal setting affect your motivation?

Interest and Emotions

Interest and Emotions

  • Student interests linked with success in school

  • Fantasy to stimulate challenge & interest

  • Ensure that ‘interesting details’ are legitimately tied to learning

  • See Guidelines, Woolfolk, p. 382

Arousal: Excitement & Anxiety in Learning

  • Arousal: excitement, alertness, attention

  • Curiosity: novelty & complexity

  • Anxiety: uneasiness, tension, stress

  • Anxiety and effects on achievement

  • Coping with anxiety

  • Problem solving

  • Emotional management

  • Avoidance

Implications for Teachers

  • Keep level of arousal right for learners

  • Sleepy students?

  • See Guidelines, Woolfolk, p. 386


Beliefs about Ability

Beliefs about Self-Efficacy

  • Self-efficacy, self-concept, & self-esteem

  • Sources of self-efficacy

  • Efficacy and motivation

  • Teacher efficacy

Beliefs about Self

  • Self-determination or other-determination

  • Classroom environment & self-determination

  • Cognitive evaluation theory

  • Learned helplessness

  • Self-worth

  • Mastery-oriented

  • Failure-avoiding

  • Failure-accepting

Reflection Questions

  • How will you deal with a student who is exhibiting learned helplessness?

  • One of your students is avoiding failure by not doing assignments. How will you approach this challenge?

Lessons for Teachers

  • Emphasize students’ progress

  • Make specific suggestions for improvement

  • Stress connection between effort & accomplishment

  • Set learning goals for your students

  • Model mastery orientation


  • What Is Motivation?

  • Four General Approaches to Motivation

  • Goal Orientation and Motivation

  • Interests and Motivation

  • Self-Schemas

Review Questions

  • Define motivation.

  • What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

  • How does locus of causality apply to motivation?

  • What are the key factors in motivation according to a behavioral viewpoint? Humanistic? Cognitive? Sociocultural?

Review Questions

  • Distinguish between deficiency needs and being needs in Maslow’s theory.

  • What are the three dimensions of attribution in Weiner’s theory?

  • What are expectancy X value theories?

  • What is legitimate peripheral participation?

  • What kinds of goals are most motivating?

Review Questions

  • Describe learning, performance, work-avoidance, and social goals.

  • What makes goal setting effective in the classroom?

  • Do interests and emotions affect learning? How?

  • What is the role of arousal in learning?

  • How does anxiety interfere with learning?

Review Questions

  • How do beliefs about ability affect motivation?

  • What is self-efficacy and how is it different from other self-schemas?

  • What are the sources of self-efficacy and how does efficacy affect motivation?

  • How does self-determination affect motivation?

  • How does self-worth affect motivation?

End Chapter 10

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