Abstract | Comparing Theories Related To Motivation: Goal Theory And Theories Of Intelligence

Authors: Aparna Sukumaran, Olesia Pavliuk
Scientific advisor: Pavliuk O. I.
Bukovinian State Medical University

The motivation theories were actively developed only in the XX century, although most motives, incentives and needs were known for a long time. At the present time there are several different, but sufficiently substantiated motivation theories, which can be divided into three groups: primary, based on the historical experience of human behavior in the process of labor; informative, reflecting the content of the needs and procedural, studying the reward process. Motivation is a meta concept that subsumes a number of related concepts such as engagement, persistence, interest, self-efficacy, and self concept. Because it is a meta concept, motivation involves a wide array of theoretical constructs – such as expectancy-value or intrinsic-extrinsic – and many related theories, including self-efficacy, goal theory, theories of intelligence, choice theory, self-determination theory, and flow, among others.

This research proposes a framework that enables visual comparison of goal  theory  and theories  of  intelligence,  highlighting   their   similarities  and  clearly  differentiating  their   major attributes. Achievement Goal  theory  identifies two major goal  orientations, often  referred to  as mastery goals and performance goals. A mastery goal (also referred to as a learning goal, task goal, or intrinsic goal) is one in which the student’s aim is to gain knowledge or skills. A performance goal (also referred to as an ego goal, ability focused goal, or extrinsic goal) is a competitive goal in which the  aim is to look good compared to others. The choice  between mastery goals and performance goals rests on a number of factors, including feelings of self worth, theories of personal intelligence, fear of failure, and fear of looking “bad” in front of others (S. Ross, 2008). Goal Theory is an overall approach to motivation that  emphasis the  need to establish goals as internal motivation whereas theories  of  intelligence  points out  the  existence  of  a broad   mental  capacity  that   influences performance on ability measures. The four-quadrant framework facilitates a visual comparison of the salient features of theories related to motivation. Firstly, the framework allows interrogation of the principal features within a theory.  For example, in goal theory the framework clearly delineates the  contrast between mastery  goals  and  performance goals.  In  theories  of  intelligence,  the framework illustrates a clear distinction between growth  mindset and fixed mindset. Further, the framework allows subtle attributes of theories to be emphasized.

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