Overall Pattern and Differences in Using Motivational- Regulation Strategies

The present study has found that Chinese college students used all eight motivational-regulation strategies with medium to high frequency. However, they did not use them equally. There were significant differences in the frequency with which the eight motivational-regulation strategies were used. The strategies related to the intrinsic motivations (e.g., task-value enhancement, self-efficacy enhancement, and mastery self-talk) were used more often than the strategies related to extrinsic motivations (e.g., performance-self-talk, self-reward). There were also differences between female students and male students in using motivational- regulation strategies. Specifically, female students used seven of the eight motivational-regulation strategies more frequently than male students with the exception of interest enhancement. The present study did not reveal any difference between students specializing in science or the arts in using motivational-regulation strategies. There were differences in using motivational-regulation strategies between three groups of students with different English proficiencies. The higher the students’ English proficiency, the more frequent the students’ use of motivational-regulation strategies. Generally, there was a highly significant difference between the three groups in seven of the eight motivational-regulation strategies with the exception of the strategy of negative-based incentive. More specifically, the high-proficiency group used six of the eight motivational-regulation strategies more frequently than did the medium-proficiency group. The six strategies were interest enhancement, performance self-talk, mastery self-talk, self-reward, task-value enhancement, and self-efficacy enhancement. The high-proficiency group used seven of the eight motivational- regulation strategies more often than did the low-proficiency group with the exception of negative-based incentive. The medium-proficiency group used three of the motivational-regulation strategies, that is, performance self-talk, self-reward, and task-value enhancement, more frequently than did the low-proficiency group. The findings from the qualitative case study also revealed that there were quantitative and qualitative differences in motivational regulation between high and low English achievers. Generally, high achievers were better at regulating their motivation than low achievers.

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