Motivational Processes Affecting Learning APA Citation Dweck, C.S.(1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 78, 1040-1048. What we are going to talk about today: Adaptive & maladaptive motivational patterns Contrast learning and performance goals Relation of ability and motivation Experiences that foster adaptive patterns.
Motivational Processes Affecting Learning By: Carol Dweck • Focus: Motivational processes that affect success on cognitive tasks. • Beliefs: Psychological factors determine how effectively the individual acquires & uses skills. • Approach: Social-cognitive • Objective: - Characterize adaptive & maladaptive patterns, explain them in terms of specific processes. - Provide conceptual & empirical basis for intervention & practice.
Adaptive Patterns Promotes the establishment, maintenance, attainment of personally challenging goals. Effective persistence in the face of obstacles Enjoy exerting effort in the pursuit of task mastery. Studies have shown performance facilitated by increased challenge. Maladaptive Patterns Failure to establish reasonable, valued goals, or strive towards these goals. Challenge avoidance & low persistence in the face of difficulty. Evidence of negative affect & self cognition's when confronted with obstacles. Studies have shown that acquisition & display of cognitive skills when faced with obstacles is hindered. Adaptive vs. Maladaptive patterns
Task choice and pursuit process involve a focus on progress and mastery through effort. Creates a tendency to seek challenge. Seek to increase competence Performance and Learning Goals • Task choice and pursuit process is built around ability level. • Results in a tendency to avoid & withdraw from challenge or show impaired performance in the face of obstacles. • Seek to gain favorable judgements & avoid negative judgements of their competence.
Learning and Performance Goals Contrasted: Goals and task choice Learning Goal: • Tend to choose challenging tasks that foster learning regardless of ability • Willing to risk display of ignorance in order to acquire skills and knowledge Performance Goal: • Tend to choose personally easy tasks on which success is insured OR excessively difficult tasks in which failure does not signify low ability. • This goal promotes defensive strategies that interfere with challenge seeking.
Goals & Task Pursuit:outcome interpretation and impact Learning Goal: • Use obstacles as cues to increase effort or to analyze & vary strategies • Results in improved performance in the face of obstacles. Performance Goal: • Attribute errors of failure due to lack of ability; views them as predictive of continued failure • Results in defensive withdraw of effort or debilitation in the face of obstacles.
The Relation of Ability & Motivation:Does ability predict motivational pattern? • Girls preferred tasks they knew they were good at. • Boys preferred tasks that they would have to work harder at to master. • Being a high achiever and knowing one has done well in the past does not translate directly into high confidence in one’s abilities when faced with future challenges or current difficulties. • Nor does it clearly predict maintenance of one’s ability to perform or learn under these conditions.
The Relation of Ability and Motivation:Does motivational pattern predict ability over time? • Drops in achievement can result from performance debilitation or task avoidance. • Both the presence of failure or the opportunity to avoid challenging subject areas may lead to cumulative skill deficits in children with maladaptive patterns. • For good students grade school may not provide either of these. • It may be only in later years when these maladaptive tendencies have their impact on achievement.
The Relation of Ability And Motivation:The Case of Sex Differences in Mathematical vs Verbal achievement • Grade school girls are equal with boys in mathematical achievement but boys pull ahead & remain ahead • New units in math after grade school involve new skills and conceptual frameworks = decline in confidence in girls • Verbal areas are less challenging; no qualitatively different tasks, only asked to bring existing skills to new material.
Experiences that foster Adaptive Patterns • Create high confidence performers and attempts by programming success & praise. • Positive reinforcement • Teacher expectancy effects • Incremental theory of intelligence • Attribution retraining
What we did today! • Adaptive & maladaptive motivational patterns • Contrasted learning and performance goals • Relation of ability and motivation • Experiences that foster adaptive patterns