Problems in Academic Motivation Research and Advantages and Disadvantages of Their Solutions
Abstract In this article, problems in current academic motivation research and their solutions are discussed. From a theoretical standpoint, it is argued that the field suffers from a lack of comprehensive models that are capable of capturing the full dynamics underlying observed behaviors. Different theoretical orientations among researchers often result in a rather arbitrary inclusion or exclusion of variables which leads to the misspecification of models. A lack of discriminant validity among motivational constructs exacerbates the problem. Furthermore, the issue of motivational influences on specific phases of information-processing and their interaction with different types of knowledge has largely been neglected. From a measurement perspective, heavy reliance on self-reporting questionnaires is once again criticized. It is argued that such practice overlooks motivational fluctuation both over time and across domains, assuming a greater degree of generalization of academic motivation without empirical support. Several solutions are suggested for each problem and their advantages and disadvantages are considered.