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Exploring the complex and dynamic nature of sustained motivation

Volet, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-8450-6663 and Beltman, S. (2007) Exploring the complex and dynamic nature of sustained motivation. European Psychologist, 12 (4). pp. 314-323.

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This paper addresses the issue of sustained motivation over time, in relation to real-life activities requiring complex skills in multiple contexts of participation. It reports an empirical study that explores how high achieving athletes and musicians appraise salient aspects of person and context as affordances and constraints, and how these appraisals shape motivation over time. Longitudinal and retrospective qualitative data were gathered about the life trajectories of 30 adolescent and adult participants, including details of their development in sport and music, people who had influenced them, their beliefs and hopes, difficulties and life events encountered and how these had been dealt with. Three major findings emerged. First, sustained motivation is inextricably linked to both person and context. Second, it is mediated by individuals' ongoing appraisal process of personal and contextual aspects of their current situation, which are interpreted as affordances or constraints. Third, the nature and extent of participation is constantly revised as a result of ongoing changes in personal and contextual circumstances over time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Hogrefe Publishing
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