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Idea Notes about Motivation (solo phase 2)

1. The interactivity of students’ multiple goals

The present study indicates that students held multiple social and academic goals in school setting. Those multiple goals interact to influence students’ academic motivation performance and either conflict with, converge upon, or compensate for each other in students’ learning process.

Conflicting goals: inevitably, students’ multiple motivational goals could conflict with each other, and result in negative effects on students’ academic motivation and performance.

Example 1, when students study diligently and want to get more knowledge, they will meet some negative attitudes from their partners or other members in the same group. So they are not clear about what he should do sometimes (mastery goal conflicting with social affiliation goal). Example 2, the students learn well and expect to demonstrate their ability and get high marks, but other students do not give approval for him/her (performance goal conflicting with social approval goal). Example 3, the students study hard to get good academic achievement, but they could not attain expected social status in their school (mastery goal conflicting with social status goal).

Converging goals: actually, students’ multiple motivational goals could converge to help students’ academic motivation and performance.

Example1, students work hard and learn more information because they want to display their abilities and be better than other students (master and performance goals working together). Example 2, students expect to study well and take part in some associations (master, performance, and social affiliation goals working together). Example 3, students hope to work hard and get better understanding about the knowledge, which may help other students when they meet some difficulties (master and social concern goals working together). Example 4, students work hard and realize their goals, they attain their teachers and peers’ appraise (master, performance and social approval goals working together). Example 5, students study industriously to have good marks, and then become a tutor of a group (master performance, social responsibility, and social status goals working together). Example 6, students study hard and try to get good scores, because they hope their teachers like and pay close attention to them (master, performance, and social approval goals working together).

Compensating goals: sometimes, one goal can compensate for another one in students’ academic motivation and performance.

Example 1, students do not like to study, but they hope to have a good job in the future, so they have to work hard (social status orientation compensating for the decrement in a mastery goal orientation). Example 2, students do not like to study, but they know their teachers enjoy hard-working students, so they have to study diligently (social approval orientation compensating for the decrement in a mastery goal orientation). Example 3, students study industriously and want to get high marks although their friends do not want to do so (performance orientation compensating for the lack of fulfillment of a social affiliation goal). Example 4, students are not interested in a subject-matter, but they want to make friends with the students in that subject group, so he study that subject hard and have certification to participate that group (social affiliation orientation compensating for the decrement in a mastery goal orientation).

From the interaction of students’ multiple goals, we need to assist students to eliminate confliction among their motivational goals as much as possible, which make them have positive cognition for their academic and social goals. Meanwhile, converging academic and social goals can guide and direct students’ cognition and behavior in their learning process. At last, utilizing and treating compensating goals correctly, which let them play the biggest efficacy in students’ academic motivation.

2. The interaction of self-consequating and emotion regulation

Self-consequation is a prototypical way in which students regulate their motivation is through the use of self-administered or self-provided consequences for their own behaviors. This strategy includes students’ identification and administration of extrinsic reinforcement or punishments for reaching particular goal associated with completing a task.

Emotion regulation describes students’ ability to regulate their emotional experience to ensure that they provide effort and complete academic task. Emotional regulation is requently viewd as necessary for reducing negative affective response and deleterious effects associated with performance evaluations.

In my opinion, those two kinds of motivational strategies could interact with each other. On the one hand, the self-consequating can make positive and negative effect on students’ emotion. The rewards, no matter concrete or behavioral, all help students to have stable emotion for the academic task, which is beneficial for them to monitor, evaluate, change and persist their learning process, they like to make more efforts for the goal, meanwhile, encourage them to regulate their motivation effectively. The self-praise and self-reinforcement statements to oneself can enhance students’ confidence which is useful for them to finish their task smoothly. Because most of students prone to have passive emotion when they do not have self-confidence. But we should admit that the self-consequating also cause negative effect on students’ emotion. When the self-administration is the punishment for the paticular goal, the students may have nervours and stressful emotion, such as upset, intensity, which lead to the the uncompletment of the task or low quality of the academic outcomes.

On the other hand, the students’ emotional regulation also influence self-consequating. When students control their emotion in a positive level, it is easy for students to use rewards or verbal statement to encourage and reinforce their managment, behavior, cognition, and evaluation, which is useful for their academical achievements and outcomes. For example, when students encounter immediate difficulity in an important examination, they ask themselves control their breathing to slow down, and then they speak to themselves, “you have finished other difficulties, you will also solve this problem.” The emotional regulation help students calm down and have self-praise which make them solve the problem successfully. Whereas, if the students cannot control their emotion, it will impact the application of self-consequating strategy. When students are anxiety, lack of confidence, worried, and fidgety, and they do not change those emotion into a positive extent, at that time, students could not use rewards, activities or verbal statements to affect their behaviors.

So we need to instruct students to use self-consequating and regulation of emotion strategy in a positive level, avoid the negative effects on students’ learning procedure. Meanwhile, the interaction of self-consequating and regulation of emotion should be thought highly which is also a way to improve students’ motivational regulation and strategies’ application.


Ⅰ. Martin Dowson& Dennis M. McInerney (2003). What do Students Say about Their Motivational Goals?: Towards a More Complex and Dynamic Perspective on Student Motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology 28 (2003) pp91-113.

Ⅱ. Christopher A. Wolters(2003). Regulation of Motivation: Evaluating an Underemphasized Aspect of Self-regulated Learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(4), pp189-205.


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