Abilities, Motivation, and Methodology

Abilities, Motivation, and Methodology

Abilities, Motivation, and Methodology

Abilities, Motivation, and Methodology

Synopsis

Diverse developments in ability and motivation research, and in the derivations of new methodological techniques have often run on parallel courses. The editors of this volume felt that communication across domains could be vastly improved through intensive interaction between researchers. This interaction was realized in The Minnesota Symposium on Learning and Individual Differences, which directly addressed ability, motivation and methodology concerns. This book, compiled as a result of the Symposium, unites theoretical and empirical advances in learning and individual differences.

The resulting volume, divided in five parts, encompasses not only prepared papers that were presented at the symposium, but compiled and edited transcriptions of the spontaneous discussions that took place at the symposium.

Part I provides an orientation to the treatment of learning and individual differences from three major perspectives: experimental psychology, motivational psychology, and differential/ methodological psychology. Part II continues and expands the discussion of quantitative methodology and applications to learning and individual differences. Part III is devoted primarily to developments in the cognitive ability domain, while Part IV addresses the impact of non-cognitive, personal constructs on learning and performance. The volume concludes with Part V which contains chapters from the closing session of the conference.

Excerpt

The challenge to the unification of experimental and differential disciplines of psychology is nowhere more salient than in the field of learning and individual differences. Diverse developments in ability research, in motivation research, and in the derivations of new methodological techniques have too often proceeded on parallel courses. In the past 3 years, discussions among the editors of this volume and our discussions with several other concerned scientists gradually led to the notion that communication across domains could be vastly improved through intensive interaction between researchers. With the encouragement of Professor J. Bruce Overmier, the Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Research in Learning, Perception, and Cognition, and the enthusiastic support of Dr. Barbara McDonald at the U.S. Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, plans were made to convene a symposium where researchers with varied perspectives on learning and individual differences could share their respective theories and empirical research in an environment that would foster critically needed cross-fertilization and integration.

On April 14, 1988, 16 distinguished scholars from Europe, Scandinavia, and the United States, serving as participants and discussants, and over 60 local, national, and international observers gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesotafor a 2 ½-day symposium on ability, motivation, and methodology concerns relating to learning and individual differences. Prior to the symposium, the participants had prepared and circulated advance papers that concerned several facets of the topic. The symposium was devoted to the reading and discussion of these papers. Following the conference, the participants were given a chance to finalize their papers for inclusion in this volume. In addition, we compiled and edited transcriptions of the spontaneous discussions among the participants and observers . . .

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