The relationships and impact of perceptions of ability, perceived competence and motivational orientation on approaches to learning in HE students
Lawson, R. (2006) The relationships and impact of perceptions of ability, perceived competence and motivational orientation on approaches to learning in HE students. In: SELF Conference 2006, 23 - 26 July 2006, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Perceptions of ability, i.e. incremental or fixed have been said to have an impact on self-esteem (Dweck, 1999). Those with a fixed belief of ability are concerned about their levels of intelligence and so they continually perform easy, low effort tasks in order to achieve and maintain their levels of self-esteem. Whereas individuals who have an incremental perception of ability are not afraid of challenges where they may fail as these challenges are seen as an opportunity to improve themselves (Stone, 1988). A relationship is also proposed between perceptions of ability and motivational orientation with fixed belief students being more extrinsically motivated, looking for external rewards and attempting to avoid anxiety and guilt. The incremental belief students are more driven by intrinsic factors whereby they chose to try to accomplish and to gain understanding (Mueller & Dweck, 1997).
This study explores the relationships between Higher Education Students’ perceptions of ability, perceived competence and motivational orientation, examining whether the combination of these factors have an impact on the approach students take to their learning. These results will then be discussed in order to ascertain the implications to educators.
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