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Advanced Educational Psychology

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Chapter 10: Motivation



nCritical component of learning


nIs motivation intrinsic or extrinsic?

nWhat makes a student want to learn?

nHow do teacher motivate students?



nInternal process that activates, guides, maintains behavior over time

nReasons why we do what we do

nCan vary in direction and intensity

nPlays a role in cognitive processes


Theories of Motivation

nBehavioral Approach

nHumanistic Approach

nCognitive Approach


Behavioral Perspective

nMotivation dependent on Rewards and Punishment

nI will do _____ to obtain reinforcer

nI will do _____ to avoid punishment


nExamples of Incentives

nIncentives – Effective? Good? Bad? Universal? 


Humanistic Perspective

nMotivated to satisfy needs

nMaslow’s hierarchy of needs


nDesire to reach one’s full potential


Physiological: food, water, oxygen, warmth, exercise, rest


Safety: Need to feel safe and secure in the environment


Love and Belonging: Need to feel accepted as part of a group


Esteem: feel good about self; believe others feel good about them


Self-Actualization: Need to grow & become all capable of


Cognitive Perspective

nThoughts guide motivation

nFocus on student’s:

nAttribution to success and failure

nBeliefs about being able to control environment


Case of Theresa


Attribution Theory

nseeks to understand just such explanations and excuses, particularly when applied to success or failure

nExplanations have 3 characteristics

nIs cause internal or external?

nIs it stable or unstable?

nIs it controllable or uncontrollable?

nAssumption: students will attempt to maintain a positive self-image


Attributions for Success? Failure?

n4 explanations for success and failure


nI failed because I am stupid

nIs this internal or external? Stable or unstable?

nI got lucky

nInternal or external? Stable or unstable?

nWhat happens to student who fails once?

nWhat if student fails over and over?

nSelf-fulfilling prophecy


Locus of Control/Self-efficacy

nExplanations have 3 characteristics

nIs cause internal or external?

nIs it stable or unstable?

nIs it controllable or uncontrollable?

n“Does my behavior make a difference?”


nJohnny believes that no matter what he does, Mr. Smith will flunk him. What will Johnny’s work ethic and motivational level look like?

nLearned helplessness


nJimmy believes that he has the ability and intelligence to be successful in his Math course. What will Jimmy’s work ethic and motivational level look like?


nShould teachers emphasize effort or ability?


nShould teachers emphasize grades, rankings? Why or why not?


Motivation and Expectancy Theory

nStudents expectations play a role in the learning process, motivation, work ethic, etc.

nHow do teacher expectations play a role?

nHow can teachers communicate positive expectations?


How can teachers increase students’ motivation to learn?


Tips for Motivating Students



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