Publication Date



This chapter examines the role of agency, goals, and reasoned persuasion, arguing that these are central to commonsense understandings and theoretical perspectives on motivation. It clarifies the conceptual frameworks that govern ordinary descriptions of motivation, seeing persons as agents of change. And it also maintains that an integrated account of motivation involves the activity of reasoned persuasion of those a person seeks to motivate, notably students, about their own causal powers. The chapter also considers the semantic and linguistic components of agency and the practical task of engaging students in reasoned dialogue about what it is that we one wants them to learn, know and understand.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Book Chapter

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.