First-year university students have multiple motives for studying and these motives may interact. Yet, past research has primarily focused on a variable-centered, dimensional approach missing out on the possibility to study the joint effect of multiple motives that students may have. Examining the interplay between motives is key to (a) better explain student differences in study success and wellbeing, and (b) to understand different effects that interventions can have in terms of wellbeing and study success. We therefore applied a student-centered, multidimensional approach in which we explored motivational profiles of first-year university students by combining three dimensions of motives for studying (self-transcendent, self-oriented, and extrinsic) which have been shown to be differently related to academic functioning. Using cluster analysis in two independent, consecutive university student cohorts (n = 763 and n = 815), we identified four meaningful profiles and coined them motivational mindsets. We validated the four mindset profiles not only within each student sample but also found almost identical profiles between the student samples. The motivational mindset profiles were labelled: High-impact mindset, Low-impact mindset, Social-impact mindset, and Self-impact mindset. In addition to validating the paradigm, we developed a mindset classification tool to further use these mindsets in practice and in future research.

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Keywords mindset, motivation, student, person-centered, cluster analysis
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Journal ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Hudig, J, Scheepers, A.W.A, Schippers, M.C, & Smeets, G. (2020). Motivational mindsets and reasons for studying: Development and validation of a classification tool (No. ERS-2020-012-LIS). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from