Motivation in Education: Theory, Research, and Applications


Informing readers about major motivational theories and related research, this thought-provoking book includes an overview of metatheoretical perspectives, expectancy and efficacy beliefs, attribution theory, social congnitive theory, goal theory, intrinsic motivation, values and affect, and social-conceptual influences such as schools, classrooms, and families. Offering intensive conceptual details of different theories, it describes and applies the most recent advances in motivation theory and research to a ...
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Informing readers about major motivational theories and related research, this thought-provoking book includes an overview of metatheoretical perspectives, expectancy and efficacy beliefs, attribution theory, social congnitive theory, goal theory, intrinsic motivation, values and affect, and social-conceptual influences such as schools, classrooms, and families. Offering intensive conceptual details of different theories, it describes and applies the most recent advances in motivation theory and research to a classroom context. Sketches metaphorical and metatheoretical approach to motivation, providing a way to organzie theories of motivation at a conceptual level. Strongly emphasizes expectancies and efficacy central constructs in motivation. For educators.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780023956218
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
  • Publication date: 9/21/1995
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 434
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Pintrich is Professor of Education and Psychology and Chair of the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also has served as the Associate Dean for Research for the School of Education at Michigan. He has a B.A. in psychology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and an M.A. in developmental psychology, and a Ph.D. in education and psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the development of motivation and self-regulated learning in adolescence and how the classroom context shapes the trajectory of motivation and self-regulation development.

Paul has published over 100 articles and chapters and is co-author or co-editor of eight books, including the Advances in Motivation and Achievement series. He also has served as editor of Educational Psychologist, the American Psychological Association journal for Division 15Educational Psychology. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, and the Kellogg Foundation.

Paul has served as President of Division 15-Educational Psychology for the American Psychological Association and is currently President-Elect of Division 5-Educational and Instructional Psychology for the International Association of Applied Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has been a National Academy of Education Spencer Fellow. He won the 1999 Best Research Review Article Award from the American Educational Research Association. He also has won the Classof 1923 Award from the College of Literature, Science, and Arts and the School of Education at the University of Michigan for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Dale H. Schunk is Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University, an M.Ed. from Boston University, and a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He has held faculty positions at Purdue University (where he served as Head of the Department of Educational Studies), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where he also was Chair of the Academic Affairs Institutional Review Board), and the University of Houston.

Dale has edited six books, is author of Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective (Prentice Hall, 2000) and over 80 articles and book chapters. He has served as President of Division 15-Educational Psychology for the American Psychological Association and as Secretary of Division C-Learning and Instruction for the American Educational Research Association. He is presently a member of the editorial boards of three professional journals.

Dale's teaching and research interests include learning, motivation, and self-regulation. He has received the Early Career Contributions Award in Educational Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Albert J. Harris Research Award from the International Reading Association, and the Outstanding Service Award from the Purdue University School of Education.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to the Study of Motivation 1
2 Historical and Metatheoretical Perspectives on Motivation 23
3 The Role of Expectancy and Self-Efficacy Beliefs 67
4 Attributional Processes 105
5 Other Social Cognitive Processes 153
6 The Role of Goals and Goal Orientation 199
7 Intrinsic Motivation 255
8 The Role of Values, Interest, and Affect 287
9 Teacher and Classroom Influences 325
10 School Culture and Organization 367
References 395
Name Index 423
Subject Index 429
About the Authors 433
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The field of motivation has undergone many changes in recent years as psychological theories have increasingly incorporated cognitive concepts and variables. Explanations of behavior have moved away from stimuli and reinforcement contingencies and instead emphasize learners' constructive interpretations of events and the role that their beliefs, cognitions, affects, and values play in achievement situations. Even more recently, within the field of educational research, there has been an interest in social and cultural models of learning that stress the situated nature of learners' beliefs and cognitions. This situated perspective has led to an increasing emphasis on how the local classroom context and other contextual factors shape and influence student learning and motivation. These two developments that stress student cognitions and beliefs and the influence of the classroom context have led to much more important and relevant research on motivation in education.

Motivation involves processes that occur as individuals instigate and sustain goal-directed actions. Although many professionals feel comfortable with this cognitive perspective, considerable disagreement exists about what processes are involved in motivation, how these processes operate, how motivation relates to learning and achievement, and how motivation can be enhanced and sustained at an optimal level. Moreover, it is important to understand how these processes operate in classroom and school contexts if we are to improve education.

We believe that motivation is an important quality that pervades all aspects of teaching and learning. Motivated students display interest in activities, feelself-efficacious, expend effort to succeed, persist at tasks, and typically use effective task, cognitive, and self-regulatory strategies to learn. Motivated teachers feel that they can help students learn, put extra time into instructional planning, and work with students to help ensure their learning and mastery of knowledge and skills. When motivation declines, other educational outcomes also suffer. Teachers must not only impart knowledge and teach skills, but also establish a motivating environment for learning.

The first edition of this text grew from a conversation the authors had at the 1991 American Educational Research Association (AERA) convention in Chicago. At that time, each of us had been active in the field of motivation for several years as researchers and specifically in the Motivation in Education Special Interest Group of AERA. In addition, both of us had been teaching graduate level courses on motivation in education and felt the need for a textbook that would be appropriate for our courses. We wanted to write a book that would provide students with a solid theoretical and empirical grounding in motivational research as well as illustrate how the principles and research findings might be applied to education. The first edition of this book was well received by our own students as well as other students and faculty members nationally and internationally. We have been quite gratified by the positive comments from colleagues and students about the first edition. Nevertheless, the field of motivation is developing, and it seemed to be an appropriate time to prepare a second edition that would update the text and reflect current theory and research in motivation.


The primary objectives of this new edition are the same as those of the first edition: (a) to present the major motivational theories, principles, and research findings in enough detail to help students understand the complexity of motivational processes, and (b) to provide examples of motivational concepts and principles applied to educational settings in order to suggest ways to facilitate motivation in these settings. Although different perspectives on motivation are presented, the text places primary emphasis on the role of personal cognitions and beliefs during teaching and learning. This focus is consistent with cognitive accounts of human behavior that view learners as active, constructive learners, not passive recipients. At the same time, the text focuses on motivation in education with an emphasis on how motivation is situated, facilitated, and constrained by various classroom and contextual factors.


The text comprises 10 chapters. After the first introductory chapter, the next six chapters focus on the six main theoretical and conceptual perspectives that stress the role of personal cognitions, beliefs, affects, and values in motivation. Accordingly, there are chapters on expectancy-value theory, attribution theory, self-efficacy and self-regulation theory, goal theory, intrinsic motivation theory, and interest and affect theories. These chapters reflect the general cognitive perspective of the text. The final three chapters of the book highlight the importance of various contextual factors in promoting motivation and focus on the teacher and the classroom, the school, and then other sociocultural factors such as peers, families, and communities. These three chapters represent the emphasis on the contextual factors that can facilitate or constrain motivation.

All of the chapters are organized in a similar fashion to ensure some consistency throughout the book. Each chapter begins with a scenario that illustrates some of the processes discussed in the chapter. The chapter then discusses key theoretical principles and constructs and important research findings. We summarize basic studies, testing hypothesized influences on and effects of motivation, as well as applied research investigating the operation of motivational processes in classrooms and other learning settings. Where appropriate, we also address the moderating role of developmental factors in motivation, along with important individual difference variables such as gender and ethnicity. Our intention is not to highlight differences, but rather to show how personal cognitions and motivational constructs may help to explain the relation between these age and individual difference variables and student outcomes.

Throughout each chapter, we discuss the implications of the theory and research findings for educational practice. In addition to numerous informal examples in the text, each chapter includes detailed and specific applications with suggestions for incorporating motivational principles into instructional contexts. We have geared most examples to K-12 education, but many of the suggestions are readily applicable to other learners (e.g., postsecondary) as well as other contexts (e.g., out-of-school settings such as homes, museums, and even the workplace).

New to This Edition

The second edition of this text is similar in many ways to the first edition, in particular in its emphasis on the psychological and educational theories and empirical research on motivation. At the same time, there are a number of important changes that we hope are improvements over the first edition. First, the chapters are now organized differently. In the first edition, there were two introductory chapters: a general chapter and a historical chapter. The historical chapter has been removed and that material has been deleted or moved into the appropriate theoretical chapters.

More important, the first edition had the six main "theory" chapters organized around general constructs, not theories. In the first edition, for example, one chapter on the construct of self-perceptions of competence had material from the expectancy side of expectancy-value theory as well as self-efficacy from self-efficacy theory. Another chapter on values and affect had material on values from expectancy-value theory and the attribution-affect link from attribution theory. Although many people liked this emphasis on general constructs and our attempt at synthesis across theories, we also found this original organization somewhat awkward in writing and in teaching with the text.

Accordingly, in this second edition, the six main "theory" chapters are organized around six main theories that represent current cognitive perspectives on motivation. All of these chapters are updated, but there are other significant organizational changes in the new edition. There is just one chapter on expectancy-value theory that includes the research on both the expectancy and value components of motivation, which were discussed in two different chapters in the first edition. There is just one chapter on attribution theory that includes the role of attributions and affect instead of having these two aspects of the theory in two different chapters, as in the first edition. There is one chapter on self-efficacy theory that now includes a new and expanded discussion of different perspectives on self-regulation. There is one chapter on goals and goal orientations that presents several different models of the role of goals in motivation. The chapter on intrinsic motivation theory is similar to the first edition, except the research on flow theory is moved to the chapter on interest and affect. Finally, the chapter on interest and affect includes an expanded discussion of the role of emotions in motivation as well as other key constructs such as self-worth and test anxiety.

The remaining three chapters on contextual factors include two chapters that are similar to the first edition. The two chapters on teacher and school influences are updated, but organized in the same way as the first edition. The last chapter, on sociocultural influences, is completely new to this edition and discusses the role of peers, families, and communities in motivation. This last chapter reflects the increased interest in factors other than teacher and school effects in the study of motivation.

In addition to these changes, we have added a glossary of terms to this edition to help the reader in understanding motivational terminology, which can be quite daunting for the novice. Terms that appear in bold in the text are listed in the glossary. We have also updated the text considerably. The first edition included more than 600 references; the second edition now includes more than 800 references, representing a more comprehensive and current perspective on motivation theory and research in education.

The book is designed for use by psychological and educational researchers interested in questions of motivation. It is also for educational practitioners, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates who have some prior knowledge in education and psychology and want to learn more about motivation in education. The book will be appropriate in courses in which motivation is covered in some depth; for example, in introductory courses in learning, development, motivation, and educational psychology, as well as graduate courses or specialty courses in these areas. While we assume that students will have some familiarity with psychological concepts and research method, the text contains minimal discussion of the statistical aspects of research results.

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