Adding nuance to the challenge-skill relationship: The interaction of perceived and actual skill
Sara M. Fulmer, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, United States ; Maria Tulis, Department of Psychology, Germany
International Journal of Educational Research Volume 77, Number 1, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Optimal motivation occurs when there is a balance between perceived challenge and perceived skill. The challenge-skill relationship has been studied extensively with regard to perceived skill, with limited attention given to actual (i.e., domain-specific) skill. The present study investigated the role of actual skill within the perceived difficulty×perceived skill relationship. Consistent with our predictions, actual skill moderated the perceived difficulty×perceived skill relationship for the outcomes of intrinsic motivation, boredom, and persistence during a mathematics task. Furthermore, those with high perceived skill and low actual skill reported the most advantageous motivational outcomes. Together, these findings indicate that the challenge-skill relationship is more complex than we had previously thought once we consider both perceived and actual skill.
Fulmer, S.M. & Tulis, M. (2016). Adding nuance to the challenge-skill relationship: The interaction of perceived and actual skill. International Journal of Educational Research, 77(1), 143-154. Elsevier Ltd.