Motivational Perspectives

Attribution Theory

Focuses on the attributions (i.e., reasons) we give for achieving a success or experiencing failure and how these attributions shape such things as our future expectations and efforts. Helps explain such problematic motivational patterns as learned helplessness.

Achievement Goal Theory

Focuses on the type of goals we bring to or adopt in a learning situation and how such goals influence our learning behaviors. Helps explain such problematic motivation patterns as self-handicapping.

Self-Determination Theory

Focuses on the nature of motivation ranging on a continuum from extrinsic to intrinsic. Places particular emphasis on understanding the conditions that foster and inhibit intrinsic motivation.

Interest Theory

Focuses on understanding the nature of student interest (and boredom) and the development of interest from superficial, fleeting interest to deep, sustained interest.

Self-Regulated Learning Theory

Focuses on the develop of such processes as goal setting, planning, and self-monitoring. Places emphasis on teaching students to take responsibility for their own learning.

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