ERIC Number: ED167597
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar-28
Reference Count: 0
Theory and Motivational Psychology.
Atkinson, John W.
Motivational psychology and test theory are compared in this discussion, which focuses on distinguishing the effects of motivation and of ability on test performance and educational achievement. Recent theory in achievement motivation considers the motivational significance of future goals as they affect present activities that are instrumental in attaining the future goal. Motivation influences behavior in two ways. First, it controls the way an individual allocates time among different activities. Secondly, the strength of motivation influences the efficiency of performance in a way that is most simply described by an inverted U-shaped curve. Large scale studies of this effect on student performance on ability, intelligence, and aptitude tests are needed. Motivational theory may account for two current phenomena: the decline in college entrance examinations scores, at the same time that college grade point averages are rising. Motivation to attend college peaked in the late 1960's, and declined between 1972 and 1975, when job prospects after graduation appeared to be limited. Current college students are very much grade-conscious, and face stiff competition. Today's students may be both more able and more highly motivated than ever. Systematic experimental study by the testing agencies is needed. (GDC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Test Score Decline
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (62nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 27-31, 1978); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document