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Experimental Studies of Motivation in Education. Judith M. Harackiewicz Department of Psychology. Goals are mental representations of things we hope to accomplish. Why are goals important?. Guide and regulate behavior Provide standards Achievement. Contextual Factors

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experimental studies of motivation in education

Experimental Studies of Motivation in Education

Judith M. Harackiewicz

Department of Psychology

slide2

Goals are mental representations of things

we hope to accomplish

Why are goals important?

  • Guide and regulate
  • behavior
  • Provide standards
  • Achievement
slide3

Contextual Factors

(e.g., experimental manipulation)

Individual Factors

(e.g., achievement orientation, initial interest)

Perceived Goal

Motivational Processes

competence valuation

task involvement

perceived competence

Intrinsic Motivation

slide4

ACHIEVEMENT GOALS

Situationally specific orientations that represent the desire to develop,

attain, or demonstrate competence

Mastery or Learning Goals

- Define competence self-referentially

- Focus on the development of skills

Performance Goals

- Define competence normatively

- Focus on the demonstration of ability

slide6

ACHIEVEMENT GOAL MANIPULATION

Neutral Control

. . . students' reactions to games and leisure activities . . . and

collecting data on what they think of our pinball machines.

Performance

. . . how well some students play pinball compared to others . . .

and collecting data on how well they play compared to others.

Mastery

. . . how students develop their pinball skills on our pinball

machines . . . and collecting data on how they learn to play and

improve on our Jungle King machine.

slide7

Henry Murray, 1938

NEED TO ACHIEVE:

“the desire or tendency to do things as rapidly and/or as well as

possible.. to accomplish something difficult. To master or

manipulate and organize physical objects, human beings or

ideas.. To overcome obstacles and attain a high standard. To

excel one’s self. To rival and surpass others..”

slide8

Jackson, 1974; Personality Research Form

Self-report measure of achievement orientation, based on

Murray’s definition

HAMs - high achievement orientation

LAMs - low achievement orientation

slide9

Free time spent playing pinball

Harackiewicz & Elliot, 1993, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

slide10

He says that he really enjoyed his first semester at college.

I know I should be pleased by this, but I'm not convinced

that enjoyment is what it's all about. (Whenever a student

tells me he or she "enjoyed" my course, I want to ask "Yes,

but did you learn anything?") I suppose my attitude is

antediluvian, and in principle I guess there's nothing wrong

with learning being enjoyable. Still, I can think of a good

many courses I took that I didn't enjoy, but that I'm glad I took.

slide11

How should we define success in college education?

  • - learning and performance typically indexed with
  • GRADES
  • students’ experiences and continuing motivation may be reflected in
  • INTEREST
slide12

Mastery Goals

In a class like this, I prefer course material that really challenges

me so I can learn new things.

My goal in this class is to learn as much as I can about this topic.

  • Performance Goals
  • It is important for me to do well compared to others in this class.
  • My goal in this class is to get a better grade than most of the
  • other students.
slide13

Contextual Factors

(e.g., implicit situational cues)

Personality Factors

(e.g., achievement orientation)

Perceived Goal

Intrinsic Motivation

Performance

slide14

Interest

?

.35

Mastery Goals

Interest in Psychology

.16

Enjoyment of Class

Performance Goals

.16

Final Grade

further studies of interest
Further studies of interest
  • Examine the development of interest over time
  • Consider the role of individual and situational factors
  • Consider the reciprocal relations between mastery goals and interest
  • Consider the possibility that we can influence interest with experimental interventions
  • Examine the role of perceived value in the interest process
slide16

Interest can develop or deepen

  • during a college class..
  • Interest can be triggered or “caught” –
  • emotional reactions, attention, stimulation
  • Interest can be maintained or “held” –
  • personal importance, meaning, values

And, we need to consider the interest that students

bring to the class at the outset…

hidi renninger 2006 four phase model of interest
Hidi & Renninger (2006) Four-phase model of interest
  • Interest is the outcome of an interaction between a person and particular content – the potential for interest is in the person, but content and environment determine direction and development of interest
  • Interest develops and deepens over time through four phases
slide18

Externally prompted

Arousal

Attention

Affect

Triggered situational interest

Maintained situational interest

Emerging individual interest

Well-developed individual interest

Focused attention

Persistence

Meaningfulness

Personal Relevance

Personal value

Knowledge

Re-engagement

Enduring predisposition

Curiosity questions

Self-generated

study design
Study Design

- Consider the role of initial interest in goal adoption and

promoting situational interest

- Examinethe development of interest over time, and the role of

goals in that process

  • First day of Introductory Psychology course: Initial Interest
  • Second week: Achievement Goals and Enjoyment of Lecture (Catch-1)
  • Last weeks: Interest (Catch-2 and Hold)
  • End of course: Final Grade
  • Four year follow-up: Continued Interest (behavioral measure) N=858

Harackiewicz, Durik, Barron, Linnenbrink-Garcia, & Tauer,

Journal of Educational Psychology, 2007

slide20

Performance-Approach Goal

+.24

Final Grade

-.13

Performance-Avoid

Goal

+.11

Catch-2

Catch-1

+.53

+.20

+.29

+.49

Initial Interest

Hold

+.20

Mastery

Goal

+.19

+.40

Courses

Taken

+.14

7 Semesters..

slide21

Can we promote catch and hold

in education?

Laboratory studies using an experimental

learning paradigm

Teach students about a new topic or teach

them a new mathematical technique

overview
Overview
  • Study 1:
    • Test task properties theorized to catch interest
  • Study 2:
    • Replicate study 1
    • Test task properties theorized to hold interest

Durik & Harackiewicz, 2007, Journal of Educational Psychology

experimental task

Step 1

Step 2

Step 4

3

2

3

2

3

2

x

4

2

x

4

2

x

4

2

Step 3

3

2

x

4

2

1200

1280

1340

1344

Experimental Task
  • Four-step, mental math technique for solving two-digit multiplication problems
non catch vs catch
Non-catch vs. Catch
  • Non-catch: visually un-stimulating instructional materials
    • plain text
  • Catch: visually stimulating instructional materials
    • Colorful and varied text
    • Vivid pictures
process variables harackiewicz sansone 1991
Process Variables(Harackiewicz & Sansone, 1991)
  • Task involvement
    • Absorption
    • Focused attention
  • Competence valuation
    • Caring about doing well
  • Perceived competence
    • Self-evaluation of skill
conclusions from study 1
Conclusions from Study 1
  • Catch promoted task interest for people with low math interest
  • Catch undermined task interest for people with high math interest
  • These effects were mediated by competence valuation and task involvement
design2
Design

Personal interest in math also included as factor

non catch vs catch1
Non-catch vs. Catch
  • Non-catch: similar to Study 1
  • Catch: slightly different
    • Fewer line pictures (more photographs)
    • Toned down colors
slide36

Non-catch 

Catch 

non hold vs hold

Save 35%

Non-hold vs. Hold
  • No mention of personal utility
  • Hold: Personal utility
    • monitoring grocery totals
    • personal banking
    • calculating tips at restaurants
    • determining discounts at retail stores
  • In catch conditions, accompanied by pictures
slide41

Math Interest x Catch

Math Interest x Hold

Effects on Interest in Technique

study 2 summary of results
Study 2: Summary of Results
  • Catch promoted interest via task involvement among individuals with low math interest
  • Hold promoted interest via perceived competence among individuals with high math interest
conclusions studies 1 and 2
Conclusions: Studies 1 and 2
  • The effects of situational enhancements can work differently for different people
  • Situational factors relate to interest via different processes (competence valuation, involvement, perceived competence)
how do mastery goals facilitate the development of interest
How do mastery goals facilitate the development of interest?
  • Interest may deepen when individuals perceive value in a task
  • Two kinds of task value (Eccles, 2005; Wigfield & Eccles, 2002) particularly important:
    • Intrinsic value: “This class is important to me because I enjoy coming to lecture”
    • Utility value :“What I am learning in this class is relevant to my life”

Back to the classroom……………….

slide45

Psychology Classroom

.13

Mastery

Intrinsic value

.14

.61

.16

.32

Initial Interest

.36

Final

Interest

.25

.30

Utility Value

.11

.19

Performance

.18

Final

Grade

Hulleman, Durik, Schweigert, & Harackiewicz,

Journal of Educational Psychology, in press

slide46

Study 3: Experimental Paradigm

  • Mental Math
  • 15-minute Learning session
  • Manipulate value through writing

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks & Harackiewicz, in prep

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz (2007)

study 3 writing manipulations
Study 3: Writing Manipulations

Control:

Type a short essay describing the objects that you see in the picture. Simply describe in detail the objects that you see.

Utility Value:

Type a short essay briefly describing the potential relevance of this technique to your own life, or to the lives of college students in general. . . Please focus on how this technique could be useful to you or to other college students. . .

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz (2007)

slide48

Study 3 Results

d = .42, p = .03 (β = .21)

d = .49, p = .01 (β = .25)

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz (2007)

slide49

Study 3 Results

Final Utility Value

Final Interest

Interaction β = .26, p = .01

Interaction β = .15, p < .15

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz (2007)

summary studies 3 4
Summary: Studies 3 & 4
  • Perceived utility value predicts interest and performance (Studies 3 & 4)
  • Manipulated utility value predicts perceived utility value and interest, particularly for low achievers (Study 4)

Can we extend these causal findings to an actual classroom?

slide51

Study 5: A Randomized Trial in the Classroom

Purpose:

Manipulate value and interest in a classroom

Sample:

Undergraduate, introductory psychology students (n = 350)

Interest measures (3 waves):

Interest in the course (course interest)

Enjoyment of lectures (intrinsic value)

Usefulness of the course material (utility value)

Randomized Treatment:

After the 2nd exam

Random assignment to utility or control writing groups

Outcomes:

Final Course Interest (2 weeks prior to final exam)

Final Course Grade

study 5 writing manipulations
Study 5: Writing Manipulations

ALL:

Select a concept or issue that is covered in this unit and formulate a question (e.g., What is the impact of sleep loss on a particular cognitive activity?).

Utility Value:

Think of a person who might be interested in this topic (e.g., a friend, relative, or a significant other). Write a 1-2 page typewritten letter describing the issue and explaining why the information is relevant to this person’s life.

Control:

Use the PsycINFO database to find two abstracts that relate to your question. Write a 1-2 page essay comparing and contrasting the findings from the two abstracts. Be sure to include a discussion of how the findings relate to and expand upon what was covered in this unit in class and text.

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz(2007)

study 5 course interest over time
Study 5: Course Interest Over Time

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz(2007)

study 5 course interest over time1
Study 5: Course Interest Over Time

d = .30

p = .01

(β = .15)

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz(2007)

slide55

Study 5: Final Course Interest

β = -.14, p = .02

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz(2007)

slide56

Study 5 – Psychology Classroom

Manipulated Utility Value

Lo .29

Hi .01

Interest

.15a

Grades

Solid paths are standardized regression coefficients significant a p < .05. Dashed paths are non-significant. Significant interactions between the manipulation and Initial Exams are represented with “Lo” (Low Initial Exams) and “Hi” (High Initial Exams).

slide57

Study 5 – Psychology Classroom

Manipulated Utility Value

Perceived Utility Value

Lo .20

Hi -.04

Interest

.53

.36

Grades

Solid paths are standardized regression coefficients significant a p < .05. Dashed paths are non-significant. Significant interactions between the manipulation and Initial Exams are represented with “Lo” (Low Initial Exams) and “Hi” (High Initial Exams).

results
Results
  • Finding Utility Value in the course material leads to more motivation and better performance
  • Writing about how the material applies to your life leads to more motivation and better performance, particularly for low achieving students
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Consistent patterns: Interest matters!
    • Survey, Laboratory, and Randomized Trials
  • Mechanism: Utility value
    • Value predicts interest and achievement
      • Perceived or manipulated
      • Particularly for low achieving students
      • High achieving students are not harmed
    • Emerges from the situation
  • Interventions that are easy to implement..
thanks to
Thanks to…
  • Amanda Durik
  • Chris Hulleman
  • Olga Godes
  • Kenn Barron
  • John Tauer
  • Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia
  • Shaun Schweigert
  • Incredible research assistants
  • Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences
slide62

Time 1 Time 2 Time 3 Time 4

(2 weeks into class) (after 2nd exam) (before 4th exam) (last 2 weeks)

Intrinsic Value

.50

Intrinsic Value

.35

Final Course Interest

.13

Value Writing

(Value +1, No Value -1)

.15†

.15† (.05†, n.s.)

.12

.23

Utility Value

.19†

Final Course Grade

.38

Utility Value

All paths are standardized regression coefficients, and are significant at p < .05.

† Indicates the direct effect is moderated by a significant interaction.

Controlling for: Time 1 interest and goals, Time 2 exam performance

Hulleman, Hendricks,& Harackiewicz(in prep)

implications
Implications
  • Intervention: Easy to implement
  • Policy Implications:
    • Pressure of high stakes forces interest out
    • Focusing on motivation may help us promote achievement in ways that accountability and standards-based reform do not
  • An understanding of motivation is crucial for student/child/parent SUCCESS
slide64

Time 1 Time 2 Time 3 Time 4

(2 weeks into class) (after 2nd exam) (before 4th exam) (last 2 weeks)

Intrinsic Value

.50

Intrinsic Value

.35

Final Course Interest

.13

Value Writing

(Value +1, No Value -1)

.15†

.15† (.05†, n.s.)

.12

.23

Utility Value

.19†

Final Course Grade

.38

Utility Value

All paths are standardized regression coefficients, and are significant at p < .05.

† Indicates the direct effect is moderated by a significant interaction.

Controlling for: Time 1 interest and goals, Time 2 exam performance

Hulleman, Hendricks,& Harackiewicz(in prep)

slide65

TARGET GOAL MANIPULATION

Performance

. . . for the first game, your goal is 29,750 points. This goal

represents the 65th percentile score for UW students with your

level of pinball experience. Your goal for the second game

is 31,430.

Mastery

. . . for the first game, your goal is 29,750 points. This score

represents a moderately challenging goal for a first game on this

machine. Your goal for the second game is 31,430.

slide68

Contextual Factors

(e.g., experimental manipulation)

Individual Factors

(e.g., achievement orientation, initial interest)

A

A

Perceived Goal

C

B

Motivational Processes

competence valuation

task involvement

perceived competence

D

Intrinsic Motivation

slide69

Characteristics of Introductory Psychology at UW-Madison:

- large lecture format (~400 students)

- non-interactive class format

- low probability of individual attention from instructor

- multiple-choice exams

- normative grading structure (“the curve”)

reciprocal relations between interest and performance
Reciprocal relations between interest and performance?
  • - Interest is often measured after students know how well they are doing in a class; difficult to disentangle interest-performance relationships
  • But, measure interest before any performance feedback is provided, and can test reciprocal relationships
slide71

P-App Goal

+.25

P-Avoid Goal

-.11

First Exam

+.15

+.12

Catch-2

+.51

Catch-1

+.14

+.19

Initial Interest

+.29

+.49

Hold

+.20

M Goal

+.40

reciprocal relations
Reciprocal relations?
  • Does interest drive the adoption of mastery goals or do mastery goals help people to develop interest - or are both of these propositions true?
  • Does interest drive performance or does performance drive interest - or are both of these propositions true?
method
Method
  • Participants: 56 men, 64 women
  • Design: 2 (non-catch vs. catch) x 2 (non-hold vs. hold) between subjects design
  • Initial session
    • learned mental math technique under varying conditions of catch and hold
  • 2-week follow-up phone interview
slide74

Mediation

Catch (+1)

vs. Non-catch (-1)

Catch x math interest

Interest

slide75

Mediation

Task involvement

Catch (+1)

vs. Non-catch (-1)

Catch x math interest

Interest

Catch x math interest

Mediating variable

slide76

Mediation

Task involvement

Catch (+1)

vs. Non-catch (-1)

Catch x math interest

Interest

Catch x math interest

Mediating variable

slide77

Mediation Model

Task involvement

Catch (+1)

vs. Non-catch (-1)

-.17 (from -.21)

-.21

Interest

Low math interest = .26

High math interest = -.24

.41

Competence valuation

Task involvement

slide78

Mediation

Task involvement

Catch (+1)

vs. Non-catch (-1)

-.04 (from -.21)

Interest

Low math interest = .26

High math interest = -.24

.26

.41

Competence valuation

Task involvement

.36

slide79

Low Math Int = .14

High Math Int = -.18

.41

Low Math Int = -.31

High Math Int= .15

Mediation Model

Catch (+1)

vs. Non-catch (-1)

Task involvement

Competence valuation

Interest

Hold (+1)

vs. Non-hold (-1)

Perceived competence

slide80

Football Camp

Mastery

Goal

.24

Intrinsic Value

.16

.24

.19

.35

.17

Camp Interest

.10

Initial

Interest

.25

Utility Value

.12

.26

Coach Ratings

.17

Performance Goal

study 5 manipulation checks
Study 5: Manipulation Checks

Hulleman, Godes, Hendricks, & Harackiewicz(2007)

slide85
Survey Study Measures (Studies 3 & 5)

Interest in Psychology (5-items, alpha = .78 - .90)

I think psychology is a very interesting subject.

Intrinsic Value (3-items, alpha = .79 - .89)

I enjoy coming to lecture.

Utility Value (4-items, alpha = .72 - .91)

I can apply what we are learning in Introductory Psychology to real life.