What do students say about their motivational goals?: Towards a more complex and dynamic perspective on student motivation

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This qualitative investigation inductively identifies and describes the psychological parameters of middle-school students’ social and academic goals. Data were collected from 86 students during 114 interviews and 24 structured observation periods. Inductive content analyses of the interview and observation data identified eight distinct motivational goals that students espoused for their academic achievement. These comprised three academic and five social goals. The analyses also identified: (a) each of these goals in terms of their component behaviours, affects, and cognitions, (b) that students did not hold these goals in isolation, and (c) that students’ multiple goals interacted in conflicting, converging, and compensatory ways to influence students’ academic motivation and performance.

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Journal Article

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