Visit ELTBOOKS - all Western ELT Books with 20% discount (Japan only)

May 30, 2010

New research: Fun motivates low achievers but has the opposite effect on high achievers

psp-150.gifThose who value excellence and hard work generally do better than others on specific tasks when they are reminded of those values. But when a task is presented as fun, researchers report, the same individuals often will do worse than those who say they are less motivated to achieve. The study appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The findings suggest that two students may respond quite differently to a teacher's exhortation that they strive for excellence, said University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores Albarracín, who conducted the research with William Hart, of the University of Florida. One may be spurred to try harder, while another could become less motivated. The study also suggests that those who are "chronically uninterested in achievement" are not operating out of a desire to do badly, Albarracín said. Their differing responses simply may reflect the fact that they have different goals.

"The competitive mindset, the achievement mindset becomes a huge de-motivator for those who don't necessarily value excellence as much as they value their well-being," Albarracín said. "Perhaps the reason they don't care to do well is because they want to do something else; they want to enjoy themselves -which is not a bad goal," she said.

"It's not that those with high achievement motivation always perform better," Albarracín said. "You can also get the low achievement motivation folks to perform better than the highs when you present a task as enjoyable and fun."

Click here for the full research paper.

Share this:  


« Previous | Main | Next »

Recent Headlines

Columns

Columns
Hedbanz / Charades
Helene J Uchida
Columns
Think Read Write
David Lisgo

Features

Useful Links

Organizations

  • ALTEThe Association of Language Testers in Europe
  • British CouncilInformation, resources, and links to other sites
  • Cambridge English Language AssessmentInformation on examination and qualifications for teachers and students
  • IALICInternational Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication
  • IALLTInternational Association for Language Learning Technology
  • IATEFL"Linking, developing and supporting" ELT professionals worldwide
  • TESOL IncPublishing, connecting, events and career development for teachers

Japan

Comments

Events

World Today