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Does motivation affect performance via persistence?


Learning and Instruction Volume 10, Number 4 ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Our cognitive–motivational process model (Vollmeyer, R. & Rheinberg, F. (1998). Motivationale Einflüsse auf Erwerb und Anwendung von Wissen in einem computersimulierten System. [Motivational influences on the acquisition and application of knowledge in a simulated system.] Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 12, 11–23.) assumes that motivational factors affect performance via mediators. Such a potential mediator is persistence. Fifty-one students learnt a complex dynamic system. We measured their initial motivation (mastery confidence, incompetence fear, interest and challenge), then a set of mediating variables during learning. Performance measures were knowledge acquisition and knowledge application. A path-analysis showed that initial motivation influenced persistence. However, any possible relationship between persistence and performance was disrupted because learners with more knowledge stopped sooner (i.e., were classified as lowly persistent). Thus highly persistent learners did not have higher mean final performance, despite acquiring more knowledge over trials.


Vollmeyer, R. & Rheinberg, F. Does motivation affect performance via persistence?. Learning and Instruction, 10(4), 293-309. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 15, 2019 from .

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