Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Academic Motivation and Locus of Control among Engineering Students

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Academic Motivation and Locus of Control among Engineering Students

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Motivation is one of the most important components of learning in any educational environment. Questions about why students engage in, pursue, and accomplish certain goals or tasks, or why they avoid others, have been the subject of educational psychologists for a long time. Given the same learning potential in the same environment with the same teacher, why does student motivation vary? Clearly, something external and/or something internal to the student must account for the variance.

Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for its own sake, for the pleasure and enjoyment it provides. To be more precise, a student who is intrinsically motivated carries out an action for the learning it permits. Extrinsic motivation is defined as the motivation to engage in an activity in order to obtain rewards or to avoid punishments from an external source. Compared to extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation is more desirable as it is the motivation to engage in the learning process for the enjoyment of learning without considering its consequences.

Locus of control is a relatively stable trait, a belief about the extent to which behaviors influence successes or failures (Rotter, 1966). It affects learning, motivation, and behavior (Pintrich & Schunk, 1996).

Internal locus of control means believing that success or failure is attributable to one's own effort or ability. External locus of control is attributing success or failure to factors outside of one's control (e.g. luck, poor teaching, etc). Family style and resources, cultural background, and experiences with effort leading to reward can influence the development of locus of control.

Students with an internal locus of control believe that they are in control of their lives. They understand that grades are directly related to the amount of study invested and hence hey are self-motivated. Students with an external locus of control believe that their lives are largely a result of luck, fate, or chance. They think that teachers give grades rather than students earn grades. They relay on external motivation from teachers or others. Several studies have shown that academic motivation was positively related with internal locus of control. Talbot (1981) found that intrinsic motivation and locus of control were positively related. Landine & Stewart (1998) found significant positive relationship between academic motivation and locus of control. Botsari (1999) found that academic intrinsic motivation was negatively related to external locus of control.

Gender role stereotypes play an important role in academic motivation and locus of control according to which boys should be more autonomous, more independent, more creative and more aggressive and with a strong tendency to master. Social, cultural and familial support and expectations determine such stereotypes.

Several studies have shown that boys show a greater degree of extrinsic motivational orientation (Midgley & Urdan. 1995; Urdan et al., 1998; Anderman & Anderman 1999; Rusillo and Arias, 2004) and Wong et al., (2007) found that boys have higher intrinsic motivation.While some studies show that girls have a greater intrinsic motivation (Nolen, 1988; Meece & Holt, 1993), Boggiano (1991) reported that girls are more likely to be extrinsically motivated. The studies conducted by Hagborg (1995); Ryan & Pintrich (1997); Rusillo and Arias (2004), did not find any gender difference in intrinsic motivation. Wehmeyer (1993), Elias & Rahman (1995) and Sherman et al., (1997) found that boys had more internal locus of control than girls.

Aim

The present research aimed to study the level of academic motivation and locus of control among engineering students of Salem.

Objectives of the study

1. To study the level of academic motivation and locus of control among engineering students.

2. To see if there is significant relationship between academic motivation and locus of control. …

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