Do students who are motivated behave differently in terms of their learning in the classroom and perform better than students who are less or not motivated? Understanding if and how motivational beliefs (e.g. self-efficacy judgments or task-value beliefs) are related to academic achievement measures (e.g. course grades or achievement-related behaviours) has significant implications for education. That is, if it is true that motivation is positively (and causally) related to achievement, it would suggest that when students are motivated they would perform better in school than students that are less motivated to study. However, an answer to the question of how motivation relates to achievement is more difficult to give than is commonly assumed. From a layman‟s perspective it is obvious that being motivated to achieve is a driving force to actually engage in learning-oriented behaviours, and that such behaviours should lead to a high level of achievement. However, as will be discussed below, this relationship is more complex than a layperson might expect. Testing the commonly accepted hypothesis of the motivation-achievement relationship is the major objective of this thesis. This chapter provides an overview of the educational context the studies were conducted in, how motivation is defined, and how motivation theories developed, followed by how motivation is measured. Subsequently, it will be highlighted why the relationship between motivation and achievement can be considered a complex one. Finally, an overview of the chapters will be given.

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H.G. Schmidt (Henk)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Psychology

Rotgans, J. (2009, June 2). Motivation, Achievement-Related Behaviours, and Educational Outcomes. Retrieved from