A latent state-trait analysis of current achievement motivation across different tasks of cognitive ability

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The current study investigates the behavior of task-specific, current achievement motivation (CAM: interest in the task, probability of success, perceived challenge, and fear of failure) across a variety of reasoning tasks featuring verbal, numerical, and figural content. CAM is conceptualized as a state-like variable, and in order to assess the relative stability of the four CAM variables across different tasks, latent state trait analyses are conducted. The major findings indicate that the degree of challenge a test taker experiences and the fear of failing a given task appear to be relatively stable regardless of the specific task utilized, whereas interest and probability of success are more directly influenced by task-specific characteristics and demands. Furthermore, task performance is related to task-specific interest and probability of success. We discuss the implications and benefits of these results with regard to the use of cognitive ability tests in general. Importantly, taking motivational differences between test takers into account appears to offer valuable information which helps to explain differences in task performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)318-327
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 09.2017

    Research areas

  • Psychology - Cognitive ability, current achievement motivation, Latent state trait analysis