Self-motivation in Higher Education

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Self-motivation and well-being in higher educationIntroductionMotivation has been shown the positive influence of a study strategy, academicperformance, and well-being in students in domains of education. However, motivationcan be considered from many different perceptive, several importance of educationdomain has been said by Deci and Ryan (1985,1991) which he has suggested threemotivation theory which is in intrinsically motivated, extrinsically motivated oramotivated. Intrinsic motivation refers to the desire to perform an activity for itselfwhereas extrinsic motivation refers to activities that engaged in as a mean to an endsuch as, to gain reward or avoid criticism, rather than for satisfaction of the activity itself.In contrast, amotivation refers to behaviours that are neither extrinsically nor intrinsicallymotivated, rather amotivated behaviour are non-regulated and non-intentional. Inaddition, within Deci and Ryan’s framework, extrinsic motivation is not a unitary concept.They suggest different types of extrinsically motivation behaviours that controlled alonga range between amotivation and intrinsic motivation, and varying in the extent to whichthey are self-determined; form lower to higher they are, external regulation, introjection,and identification. External regulation refers to behaviour that are perceived as non-autonomous, that is determined merely by external forces rather that individuals.Introjected regulation refers to activities that are partly internalized through past externalcontingencies but not in a truly self-determined way, while identified regulation refers tobehaviour that are judged as important for the individual, and perceived as autonomousand chosen by themselves.In educational contexts, these motivational orientations have been associated witha range of outcomes. Intrinsic motivation has been found to contribute positively to
the learning process and the quality of learning. In particular, intrinsically motivatedindividuals have been found to be more likely to engage deep- level study strategies(Ames & Archer, 1988), display enhanced conceptual learning (Grolnick & Ryan,1987), creativity (Koestner, Ryan, Bernieri, & Holt, 1984) and cognitive flexibility(McGraw & McCullers, 1979), have a greater recall of learned material (Ryan,Connell, Plant, Robinson & Evans, 1984), and better academic performance (Deci &Ryan, 1985). Additionally, intrinsic motivation has been linked to enhanced self-esteem (Deci & Ryan, 1995) and general well-being (Ryan, Plant, & O’Malley, 1995).In comparison, much less research attention has been directed to the role ofamotivation or the different types of extrinsic motivation in determining educationaloutcomes. This is because, up until recently, most studies have utilizedunidimensional measures of motivation, which do not go beyond simpleextrinsic/intrinsic distinctions (e.g., Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Orientation Scale; Harter,1981). These studies suggest that extrinsically motivated behaviors, in general, areassociated with impaired learning, poorer performance, and educational outcomes(e.g., Benware & Deci, 1984; Grolnick & Ryan, 1987). However, more recentresearch assessing motivational orientations in a multidimensional fashion (e.g.,Academic Motivation Scale; Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Briere, Senecal, & Vallieres,1992) suggests that the link between extrinsic motivation and educational outcomesis complex and depends on the type of extrinsically motivated behaviors assessed(Vallerand & Bissonnette, 1992; Vallerand, Blais, Briere, & Pelletier, 1989; Vallerandet al., 1992; Vallerand, Fortier, & Guay, 1997). In these studies, both intrinsicmotivation and more autonomous or self-determined types of extrinsic motivation(identified regulation) were associated with lower dropout rates and more
persistence, while non-self-determined types of extrinsic motivation (external,introjected) and amotivation were negatively related or not related to such outcomes.The results of such studies support the notion proposed within self-determinationtheory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991) that extrinsic and intrinsic motivational processesare not necessarily antagonistic, rather it is the extent to which behaviors are self-determined or autonomous, as opposed to controlled from external forces, that maybe important in terms of educational consequences. However, what is not clear atpresent is the precise nature of the relationship between different motivationalorientations and academic performance. This is because studies by Vallerand andcolleagues employed educational outcome measures such as perceptions ofcompetence, concentration, time spent studying, and dropout rates, as opposed toactual academic performance. One aim of the present study was to assess theprecise nature of the relationship between different motivational orientations andperformance in a tertiary educational setting utilizing a prospective design, whilecontrolling for individual’s academic aptitude prior to entering university.While considerable research effort has examined the link between motivation andcognitive (e.g., effort concentration) and behavioural consequences (e.g.,persistence) in educational settings, no study has so far assessed the role ofdifferent motivational orientations in relations to other factors important for academicsuccess such as, adjustment to university, stress, and health. There is extensiveevidence to suggest that university can be stressful for many students, entailing agreat deal of adjustment to a range of interpersonal, social, and academic demandand situations (e.g., Dunkel-Schetter & Lobel, 1990). Poor adjustment to universityand associated difficulties has been shown to impact on physical and psychologicalhealth (Aspinwall & Taylor, 1992; Fisher & Hood, 1987) and university attrition
(Daugherty & Lane, 1999), as well as contribute to poor academic achievement(Baker & Siryk, 1984; Sharma, 1973). Many factors thought to influence adjustmentto university have been studied including age, sex, and nationality (Chataway &Berry, 1989; Hull, 1978), university entry qualifications and intellectual ability(Aspinwall & Taylor, 1992; Sternberg & Kaufman, 1998), personality variables suchas shyness (Joiner, 1997), extraversion and neuroticism (Halamandaris & Power,1999; Lu, 1990, 1994) and other vulnerability factors such as, positive and negativeaffect (Joiner, 1997) and social support (Halamandaris & Power, 1999). Many ofthese studies, however, define adjustment in relation to academic performance.While academic success is a part of adjustment to university, it also includespsychosocial aspects such as interpersonal and social adjustment. Related to this,most of these studies have tended to examine key outcome variables such as,adjustment, stress, health, or performance in relation isolation. To date, there havebeen few studies that have investigated the complexities of such variablessimultaneously. Finally, there have been no studies of the importance of motivationalorientations in adjustment to university, levels of stress, and psychological healthoutcomes; yet, motivational orientations, the why of behavior (Deci & Ryan, 1985), inthis case reasons for studying, may have a significant impact on how students’adjust to the academic, social and interpersonal demands of university, levels ofstress experienced, and associated health outcomes. Indeed, motivation research inreal-life domains other than education indicates that self-determined motivation isassociated with positive affective outcomes such as psychological adjustment andsatisfaction (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991).The present study was designed to allow an examination of the relationshipsbetween motivational orientations and a range of factors important for success at
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