6
Providing Extrinsic Incentives

THE VALUE ASPECTS OF STUDENTS'
MOTIVATION

The expectancy × value model implies the need to attend to the value aspects of students' motivation, not just the expectancy aspects. Otherwise, your students may be asking themselves, “I know I can do this, but where is my motivation?” To be motivated to do something, we need good reasons for doing it, not just confidence that we can do it if we try.

Eccles and Wigfield (1985) suggested that subjective task value has three major components:attainment value (the importance of attaining success on the task in order to affirm our self-concept or fulfill our needs for achievement, power, or prestige); intrinsic or interest value (the enjoyment that we get from engaging in the task); and utility value (the role that engaging in the task may play in advancing our career or helping us to reach other larger goals). This is a useful classification scheme, but for applications to the classroom I would expand it to place more emphasis on the cognitive aspects of student motivation to learn academic content. A broadened version would include experiencing the satisfaction of achieving understanding or skill mastery under attainment value, aesthetic appreciation of the content or skill under intrinsic value, and awareness of the role of learning in improving the quality of one's life or making one a better person under utility value.

Until recently, research on motivation in education concentrated on its expectancy aspects (Berndt & Miller, 1990). Attention to value aspects was needed not only to balance the expectancy × value equation but to broaden the purview from focus on achievement situations that feature relatively

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