Student achievement motivation : single or multiple goals?

Davis, Michele (1998) Student achievement motivation : single or multiple goals? Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Two hundred senior high students completed a motivation questionnaire. Responses were subjected to a factor analysis which was followed by a series of Pearson correlations between the resultant factor scores and measures of positive and negative emotions, affect, strategy use, perceptions of the classroom environment and preference for challenge. Responses were also subjected to a cluster analysis followed by a series of between-group contrasts with each of the motivational constructs as the dependent variable and cluster membership as the independent variable. The majority of research investigating achievement motivation has used correlation and regression techniques. The use of factor analytic-correlational methodology has provided valuable information regarding the relationship between student motivation and subsequent behavior. Researchers who have used this method have focused on students as pursuing one of two goals - mastery or performance goals. Research (Seifert, 1995; Seifert & Bulcock, 1996) is now suggesting that this focus on correlation and regression techniques tends to ignore the possible interactions of goals. The use of cluster analysis has provided evidence that students are pursuing multiple goals and that these students engage in behaviors specific to their goal pursuits (Meece, 1994; Seifert, 1995). It was argued that evidence for the existence of subgroups of students within the performance orientation is apparent in earlier works examining students' pursuit of mastery and performance goals. Also suggested was the possibility that research on learned helplessness and performance impairment has provided more evidence for the existence of subgroups. The factor analytic-correlational methodology was compared to the cluster analysis with between-groups contrasts to determine if there is agreement between these two methods. Results indicated that the two methodologies yield slightly different interpretations of the data. It was concluded that cluster analysis may provide additional insight into achievement goal theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9310
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 107-110.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Motivation in education; High school students--Attitudes

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