EDPE 300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Motivation, Trait Theory, Behaviorism

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Published on 13 Nov 2012
The Nature of Motivation
motivation: a state that energizes, directs and sustains behaviour
o often reflected in personal investment & cognitive engagement
all students motivated somehow
influenced by environmental conditions
situated motivation: phenomenon whereby aspects of one’s immediate environment enhance
one’s motivation to learn particular things or behave in particular ways
How Motivation Affects Learning and Behaviour
directs behaviour toward particular goals
o motivation determines specific goals toward which people strive
o affects choice students make
leads to increased effort and energy
o increases effort & energy spent in activities directly related to needs & goals
o determines whether task pursued enthusiastically or apathetically
increases initiation of & persistence in activities
o more likely to begin task they want to do & more likely to continue it until it’s
enhances cognitive processing
o affects what & how information is processed
o motivated students more likely to pay attention
determines what consequences are reinforcing
o more motivated for success = more proud they are of A/ more upset they are of F
o more desire for acceptance = more meaningful membership in group is
leads to improved performance
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
extrinsic motivation: motivation promoted by factors external to individual and unrelated to
task being performed
o may have to be enticed/prodded
o may process information only superficially
o often interested in performing only easy tasks
o increases during school years
intrinsic motivation: internal desire to perform a particular task
o students more likely to show beneficial effects of motivation
o more eager to tackle assignments & learn classroom material
o more likely to process information in effective ways
o more likely to achieve at high levels
o declines during school years
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increasingly reminded of importance of good grades
many realize they aren’t necessarily as smart as peers
begin to evaluate school subjects in terms of relevance to goals not intrinsic
increasingly impatient with overly structure/repetitive/boring activities in
students often motivated by both factors simultaneously
Theoretical Perspectives of Motivation
the trait perspective
o trait theory of motivation: portrays motivation as involving enduring personality
characteristics that people have to a greater or lesser extent
o children differ in tendency to forge friendly relationships & extent to which they seek
new experiences (sensation seekers)
o achievement motivation: need for excellence for its own sake without regard for any
external rewards that one’s accomplishments might bring
o this theory losing prominence, but personality characteristics do influence motives of
the behaviourist perspective
o people behave to obtain reinforcing outcomes
o drive: motivational state in which something necessary for optimal functioning (food,
water) is missing
o earlier proposed specific consequences reinforcing only if they address particular drive
o learning can occur without satisfying/reducing/apparent drive
o human behaviour aimed at accomplishing long term goals rather than short term needs
o sometimes behave in ways that increase drive
o not look at purposes particular behaviours serve for people
the social cognitive perspective
o heavy emphasis on goals people strive for (reflected in choices & behaviours they make)
o reinforcement & punishment follow various behaviours affect people’s expectations for
consequences of future behaviours
o self efficacy = key factor in decision to engage in & persist activity
the cognitive perspective
o focus on how mental processes affect motivation
o propose humans naturally inclined to make sense of world & curiosity often piqued by
new & puzzling events & especially motivated by perceived discrepancies between new
information and existing beliefs
o need to make sense of own environment & experiences
o some propose 2 other conditions essential for intrinsic motivation
sense of self efficacy
sense of self determination
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What Basic Needs Do People Have?
Maslow’s 5 basic needs
o physiological needs related to physical survival
o safety need to feel safe & secure in environment
o love and belonging
o esteem need to feel good about self & beliefs other perceive self favourably
o self actualization need to reach full potential
needs put in a hierarchy to address most basic ones first
based on very little evidence
students unlikely to pursue classroom task with interest/energy until basic needs met (adequate
diet, safe environment, etc.)
Self Worth
evolutionary need for competence pushes people to develop ways of dealing more
effectively with environmental conditions & increases chances of survival
self worth: beliefs about one’s own general ability to deal effectively with the environment
protect self worth with excuses that justify poor performance or refuse to engage in tasks
self handicapping: undermining one’s own success, often as a way of protecting one’s sense of
self worth when being asked to perform difficult tasks
o setting unattainably high goals
o procrastinating put off task until success virtually impossible
o reducing effort
o using alcohol or drugs reduces performance
believe unlikely to succeed, increase chances of justifying failure
strong sense of self worth rarely engage in self handicapping
less likely to engage in self handicapping when chances of success slim
those who overestimate abilities set themselves up for failure
need for relatedness: the need to feel socially connected to others, as well as to secure their
love and respect
evolutionary people who live in cohesive, cooperative social groups more likely to survive
than people who go alone
students worried about interacting with friends, projecting favourable public image
especially high in middle school years (overly concerned with what others think of them)
students more likely to succeed academically/stay in school when they think teachers/peers
like/respect them & when they feel they belong to classroom community
individual differences in the need for relatedness
o need for affiliation: the tendency to seek out friendly relationships with others
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