Academic journal article Psychologische Beiträge

Foreword

Academic journal article Psychologische Beiträge

Foreword

Article excerpt

Despite an impressive tradition of research in the field of educational psychology, it has not yet been possible to accurately portray the determinants of motivation and behavior in achievement contexts. One reason for this could very well be that these determinants are not accessible to introspection and, as a result, persons are not capable of reporting information about them. In addition to the non-cognitive factors traditionally observed by motivational psychologists such as emotions (Weiner, 1985) or motives (Heckhausen, 1989), in recent years increased discussion has centered on the influence cognitive factors such as implicit theories can have on achievement behavior (Gollwitzer & Bargh, 1996; Sorrentino & Higgins, 1996). In the meantime, Carol Dweck's Motivation Process Model has succeeded in presenting a comprehensive theory of the mechanisms here in operation (cf. Dweck, 1999; Dweck & Leggett, 1988). This model has stimulated numerous international research activities, resulting in the confirmation of it's qualification in educational settings. Unfortunately, few studies have been executed in Europe, one major exception being the work being done by Spinath (Schlangen [Spinath] & Stiensmeier-Pelster, 1997; Spinath, 1998). This points to a present pressing need to fill the current void regarding European investigations. This demand appears to be justified by the fact that at the core of the Motivation Process Model is a focus on implicit knowledge structures and achievement goals determined by it. However, it is by no means clear that these are identical across cultures.

All contributions to this book are either dedicated to the Motivation Process Model or deal, directly or indirectly, with components of the model. As the editor of this book, it gives me great joy to be able to report that not only the theoretically oriented chapter, but also the original empirical works contribute to both a better understanding as well as a higher degree of familiarization with this influential model. …

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