Students' achievement goals and underlying reasons : their relation to intrinsic motivation and cheating
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Using an experimental design, this study investigated the causal-effect relationship of achievement goals (AGs) and their underlying reasons (goal complexes) on students’ intrinsic motivation and cheating behaviour. The design included giving participants a specific task under experimental conditions. Additionally, a crosssectional design was used to examine the relationship between the outcomes of a given task and the endorsed goal complexes students have for their classes. The study population included 219 students who participated voluntarily; they were from an English Language Preparatory Program at a private non-profit university in Ankara, Turkey. Seven experimental conditions were induced to the participants through a given spatial task. The seven conditions randomly assigned to the students consisted of three different AGs (i.e., an intrapersonal-approach goal, an intrapersonal-avoidance goal, and a performance approach goal) along with two motivational styles (i.e., autonomous and controlling), as well as a control (neither goal nor reason given). In addition to the experiment, a survey was administrated to assess students’ endorsed AGs and their underlying reasons (autonomous or controlling) for their English classes. The manipulation checks for the analysis revealed that the experimental conditions were not successful; more specifically, students were not induced to endorse their randomly assigned goal and reason. Moreover, very few students cheated during the task. The survey results indicated that during task engagement, autonomously-regulated AGs predict intrinsic motivations, and control-regulated AGs promote a sense of pressure. One key finding of this study was that while students who have controlling reasons behind their AGs for an educational class tend to have controlling reasons for a specific task, which was not found among students with autonomous reasons. Finally, recommendations to improve the experimental design and implications of the results for education and teaching practices are discussed.
Keywordsautonomous and controlled motivation
intrinsic motivation and cheating