Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Examining Gender Differences in Conceptions of Ability, Dispositional Goal Orientations, and the Perceived Motivational Climate. (Pedagogy)

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Examining Gender Differences in Conceptions of Ability, Dispositional Goal Orientations, and the Perceived Motivational Climate. (Pedagogy)

Article excerpt

Recent research has demonstrated that motivational constructs such as conceptions of ability and goal perspectives influence motivational levels in achievement contexts. Dweck (1999) conceptualized conceptions of ability as implicit theories. An entity theory reflects the belief that ability is an innate, fixed construct that cannot be improved with effort, whereas ability is conceptualized in an incremental theory as a malleable quality that can be increased through effort. Goal perspectives, influenced by both dispositional orientations and perceptions of the motivational climate, are characterized as either task involved, where the focus is on effort and improvement, or ego involved, where the emphasis is on demonstrating superiority over others. Individuals with incremental theories of ability and task-involved goal perspectives are more likely to exert effort and persist in challenging activities than those with entity theories and ego-involved goal orientations, especially when the perception of ability is low. Although these are important motivational variables, little is known about how they are influenced by gender. Women are at a disproportionate risk for physical inactivity as compared to men, and although all segments of our society need to be more active, motivating women to adopt physically active lifestyles is especially important. The purpose of this study was to examine gender difference in conceptions of ability, dispositional goal orientations, and the perceived motivational climate in physical activity classes. …

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