Cognition and Instruction/Self-Determination Theory and Beliefs About Self

Motivation is largely responsible for facilitating our actions and triggering our thought process. The purpose of introducing the following theories is to help our readers understand how motivation can be applied to help achieve greater learning in not only the classroom, but also in the methods of instruction teacher's implement. The following theories are offered as models which help introduce the concepts of motivation and how they can be integrated into the classroom. We hope to stress the importance of motivation in learning and how teacher's must learn to adapt in order to accommodate the needs of a diverse range of students.


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Self-Determination TheoryEdit

This is based upon looking at the correlation between personality and motivation. It looks at peoples decisions and tries to understand whether or not motivation is caused by internal or external factors, and what role each of those factors play.


One of the basic psychological needs one has is Competence: The ability to do something well and the satisfaction that comes along with doing it well, whether it be at school or in the work place. Competence plays a big role in one's life as it aids people to believe that they themselves are needed and effective when achieving a specific goal.


Autonomy is ability to believe that you have choices and ownership over what you're learning.


Relatedness is the ability to connect with the environment around you. After this, you are able to feel comfortable knowing whats expected out of you, and are able to build safe relationships with the subjects around you. The relationships in turn, help you feel belongingness and acceptance.

Scope and Implication for InstructionEdit


Expectations can be seen as beliefs we have about our ourselves, beliefs we assume others hold about ourselves, or actual beliefs that others have expressed towards us; moreover, despite the form they assume, each one impacts motivation differently.

Intrinsic MotivationEdit

Intrinsic motivation is a course of action we carry out because we genuinely enjoy the pursuit.

Extrinsic MotivationEdit

Extrinsic motivation is a course of action we take because there appears to be external rewards that are either tangible, or result in praise.

Internal Locus of Control/External Locus of ControlEdit

An internal locus of control relates to intrinsic motivation in that we believe that the outcome experiences is due to our own abilities.An external locus of control, similar to extrinsic motivation, depends upon forces outside our control such as luck

Conflicting ExpectationsEdit

Expectancy Value TheoryEdit

Martin Fishbein

Key PointsEdit

The Expectancy Value Theory looks at the connections between beliefs and attitudes. That is, the ways in which someone perceives a goal and the corresponding actions they carry out to achieve such goals.


Scope and Implication for InstructionEdit

Beliefs About SelfEdit

Beliefs about self are ubiquitous, but they vary in many degrees for different people. If individuals are more informed about their agency in changing negative perceptions, for instance by targeting self-efficacy and self-concept they become more attuned to themselves. Consequently, people are left with a framework to shape and reshape their thoughts about self in order to enhance motivation. Awareness is paramount in the notion of self-concept. Individual's identify themselves as a distinct body in a world of other bodies and they have a firm grasp of 'self' in overlapping domains. Self-efficacy is synonymous with confidence referring to one's personal beliefs regarding his or her abilities. That is, the abilities to perform the actions necessary to attain a goal, overcome an obstacle, complete a task or the like. It is also the degree to which one believes they are in control of their motivation, actions and environment.

Social-Cognitive Theory (SCT)Edit

SCT illustrates that a part of one's knowledge is acquired through observing other people and cultural occurrences in the community. Examples of such occurrences involve behavioural capabilities, physical environment and social connections between people.

Behavioural CapabilitiesEdit

Physical EnvironmentEdit

Social ConnectionsEdit

Goal Orientation TheoryEdit

Andrew Elliot

Key PointsEdit

Goal Orientation Theory can be seen as involving two types of people, those who strive for mastery of a topic for their own means and those who demonstrate knowledge to gain positive feedback, judgment, or praise from others; learning orientation versus performance orientation.


Scope and Implication for InstructionEdit

Mental HealthEdit

How an individual views them self can have an enormous affect on an individuals health. If a person views them self and their abilities in a negative light, there may be repercussions on their mental state of health. At the same time, an existing mental illness may affect how a person views them self and the motivation that they have.

Traumatic ExperiencesEdit

Clinical DepressionEdit


Scope and Implication for InstructionEdit

Daryl Bem's Self-Perception TheoryEdit

Daryl Bem's Self-Perception Theory (SPT) defines and explains an individuals' personality as being an outcome of observing their own behavior. Ultimately, a person analyzes what it was in their surroundings that caused these behaviors and their personality to form.

Self-Attribution and Self PerceptionEdit

Self-Attribution is a first step in self-perception. Self Attribution is learning how to identify parts of a person's own self and individuality and why these came to be. When a person is young, other people such as relatives and instructors are relied upon to teach a person how to identify certain parts of their personalities. This person is slowly trained to make these sort of identifications themselves, and can then start making their own connections between certain traits and what may have caused those traits.

Experimental EvidenceEdit

In order to add substance to this theory, Bem engaged in many experiments such as the False Confession experiment and the Pain Perception experiment. These experiments put the subject in complete control and observed whether any impact was made on the subject's attitude.

Criticism of Self Perception TheoryEdit

Though theories in Educational Psychology can be enlightening, many have biases or flaws in the eyes of other academics. This section will examine any existing critiques of Bem's Theory and will highlight what makes the theory worthwhile despite these critiques.

Scope and Implication for InstructionEdit

With knowledge about motivation and the beliefs about yourself, how does this effect the classroom settings with both younger children and adults? What are implications that still need improvement, and what are the different methods that educators can include in the classroom to further increase and promote motivation and beliefs about one's self?