Motivation and Individual Differences in Learning: An Integration of Developmental, Differential, and Cognitive Perspectives

Cognitively-based motivational processes are examined from achievement and goal setting perspective to provide a common basis for: (1) resolution of discontinuities in the empirical literature; (2) analysis of the role of motivational dispositions; and (3) consideration of motivation-cognitive processing interactions during complex skill acquisition. Goal orientation and goal attributes are examined with respect to their detrimental and beneficial influence on performance through effects on goal choice and self-regulatory activities. Theoretically-related differential approaches to motivational processing are found to differ in their utility for understanding motivation among children and adults. The effects of motivational processing on cognitive processes during complex skill acquisition are considered for the purpose of identifying when, how, and for whom specific motivational interventions might be most effective.