Motivation and the Individual

Introduction

In previous weeks, you explored individual differences inherent in motivation. This week you explore how what you feel about yourself—and more specifically, how you feel about your competence—impacts your motivation to attain goals. Consider a situation in which you were asked to swim a certain number of laps in the pool in a certain amount of time. Whether you felt capable to accomplish this task would depend on many factors, but this perceived capability might affect your motivation to even try. Similarly, a student faced with a challenging academic task might, depending on his or her self-efficacy, be motivated to tackle the challenge earnestly or put forth no effort (and purposefully fail) in order to maintain self-worth by creating the illusion that he or she could have succeeded, had effort been exerted.

Issues of self-efficacy bring up many interesting questions, such as: If an individual feels that he or she has no power to change, or feels unsuccessful at everything, will he or she have the motivation to change? If an individual feels that he or she can attain any goal without much effort, does that affect motivation? This week you explore these issues, as well as the difference between self-efficacy and self-esteem, and how self-efficacy theory can be applied in learning situations.

Readings

  • Book Excerpt: Arndt, J., & Goldenberg, J. L. (2002). From threat to sweat: The role of physiological arousal in the motivation to maintain self-esteem. In A. Tesser, D. A. Stapel, & J. V. Wood (Eds.), Self and motivation: emerging psychological perspectives (pp. 43–69). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycBOOKS database.
  • Article: Bandura, A., &, Locke, E. A. (2003). Negative self-efficacy and goal effects revisited. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(1), 87–99.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycBOOKS database.
  • Article: Seifert, T. L. (2004). Understanding student motivation. Educational Research, 46(2), 137–149.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Zurbriggen, E. L., & Sturman, T. S. (2002). Linking motives and emotions: A test of McClelland’s hypotheses. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(4), 521–535.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SAGE Premier 2010 database.

Discussion 1: Self-Efficacy and Self-Esteem

You may recall from Week 3 that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs includes esteem needs. This category includes self-esteem, which incorporates a person’s beliefs and emotions about his or her worth. Self-esteem relates to another term that sounds similar but has different implications in the field of psychology: self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a person’s thoughts about his or her own competence, which has many implications for individuals’ motivation. Consider the implications, for instance, if a person believed that she could not succeed in a given situation. Conversely, what if that same person believed that she could not fail in this situation?

To prepare for this Discussion, consider differences between self-efficacy and self-esteem, particularly as they relate to human motivation. Think of potential scenarios when self-esteem might be misinterpreted as self-efficacy.

Post by Day 3 an explanation of the differences between self-efficacy and self-esteem. Provide two examples of when self-esteem might be misinterpreted as self-efficacy and explain why. Be specific.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Discussion 2: Applying Self-Efficacy Theory

Self-efficacy theory holds that if an individual believes he or she is capable of achieving a goal or conquering a task, that individual will be more motivated to do so, and therefore more likely to succeed. In other words, the individual could use personal power to influence the situation he or she faces. As you prepare for this Discussion, think of a personal situation in a learning environment in which self-efficacy enhanced your motivation. Then, consider how self-efficacy theory could be applied in a learning environment.

Post by Day 4 a description of a personal situation in a learning environment in which self-efficacy enhanced your motivation. Use self-efficacy theory to support your response. Then provide an example of how self-efficacy theory could be applied in a learning environment to enhance students’ motivation.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

"Our Prices Start at $11.99. As Our First Client, Use Coupon Code GET15 to claim 15% Discount This Month!!":

Get started