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ERIC Number: EJ823714
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
College Seniors' Theory of Their Academic Motivation
Van Etten, Shawn; Pressley, Michael; McInerney, Dennis M.; Liem, Arief Darmanegara
Journal of Educational Psychology, v100 n4 p812-828 Nov 2008
College seniors participated in an ethnographic interview study about their academic motivations. It was found that grades and graduation are 2 primary distal target goals that motivate their academic efforts during the senior year. A variety of proximal factors were also reported to affect the seniors' motivation. These factors can be divided into students' internal and external factors. Among the internal factors are student characteristics (e.g., social class, expectations) and student beliefs (e.g., belief about control, belief about learning and mastery), whereas the external factors comprise academic-related factors (i.e., course-, examination-, and assignment-related characteristics, reward, and feedback), social factors (i.e., instructors, family members, and peers), general college environment (i.e., physical environment, academic associations, and internship/volunteer opportunities), and extracurricular activities (i.e., fraternities/sororities and sports participation). These results suggest that there is much to learn about academic motivation during the college years. In particular, there is a need for research employing methodologies other than quantitative, survey-based method that can capture the complexities of motivation during college.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A