Educational Psychology: What are the various Cognitive Approaches to Motivation?

CHAPTER SEVEN

MOTIVATION

7a iii). Discuss the different cognitive Approaches to motivation.

Cognitive Approaches To Motivation

Cognitive approaches to motivation developed as a reaction to the behavioral views. Cognitive theorists believe that behavior is determined by our thinking, not by rewards or the punishments we anticipate or receive. In their view, the behavior is initiated and regulated by inner plans, not by external events or physical conditions like hunger.

Cognitive theorists tend to see people as

  • Active,
  • Curious and always searching for information to solve personally relevant problems.

In their view, people work hard because they enjoy work and because they want to understand. They emphasize intrinsic motivation, (Weiner, 1984). The teacher should help learners to develop their curiosity and methods of searching for information.

Students need to be trained to be intrinsically motivated so that they can search knowledge for its own sake. Intrinsic motivation is included is included in this lesson and it will be dealt with at length then.

Social Learning Theories Of Motivation

The social learning theories of motivation are integrations of behavioral and cognitive approaches. These theorists see motivation as a product of two main forces: The individual expectation of success in a task and the vicarious experience.

The person’s expectation of success in a task is determined by personal effectiveness also called self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to personal competence. One important idea that teachers could borrow from these concepts is that learners need to be empowered to perform learning tasks with high chances of succeeding. If a learner knows he will succeed in solving a mathematical problem or in balancing a chemistry equation his motivation will be heightened. Students with a high sense of academic efficacy display greater persistence, effort and, intrinsic interest in their academic learning and performance.

The vicarious experience constitutes observations of other students. A student compares his performance with that of other children. If the child discovers that his performance is poor he is likely to lose his sense of competence and efficacy altogether. In this, respect the teacher should help the child to keep up with the level of performance of other children in order to keep up motivation. In many instances, teachers aggravate the problem when they torment the child who is comparing with peers unfavorably. They make the child sink deeper in despair and apathy. A little help, understanding, encouragement and even persuasion and moral support may be all that this child need to improve his sense of efficacy.

 

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