Motivation: Theory and Research

By Harold F. O'Neil Jr.; Michael Drillings | Go to book overview

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Introduction to Motivation: Theory and Research

Michael Drillings

Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

Harold F. O'Neil Jr.

University of Southern California/CRESST

There are several well-documented trends that will affect education and training now and in the future: introduction of large numbers of immigrants into the United States; a reduction in the 17-20 year-old group between 1980 and 1996; an increased participation rate by women and minorities in the labor force; increasing use of English as a second language; increased requirements for second language learning; and a possible increased use of robotics to accomplish unskilled jobs ( Johnston & Packer, 1987; O'Neil, Allred, U+)026 Baker, 1992). Further, several issues specific to the Armed Forces also magnify these general trends for Department of Defense education and training. These issues include reduction in force structure, reduction in manpower and personnel, decreasing budgets for training, increasing equipment complexity, and increased use of the Reserves (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1992; National Research Council, 1992).

Thus, students will have to master an increased variety of complicated subject material, to master an increased set of sophisticated skills, and to perform these skills at higher standards in ever-changing contexts. We expect that these trends will continue well into the 21st century for both the military and civilian sectors.


A FRAMEWORK FOR MOTIVATION

The great majority of education and training research and development is focused on the cognitive dimensions of learning, for instance, the acquisition and retention of declarative and procedural knowledge. Less attention has been given in the literature and in the design of education and training itself to motivational

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