"I want to try and try" : increasing achievement motivation in young children

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Motivation to learn plays a critical role in students' academic success. This dissertation reports five experiments (N = 250) that increase children's motivation (specifically, challenge seeking and persistence) through storybooks. The first two studies examined how manipulating the similarity between the main character of a story and the participating child affected preschoolers' (Study 1) and kindergarteners' (Study 2) motivation as assessed by the choice of and persistence on challenging puzzles. Study 2 also compared effects for struggling versus non-struggling students. Study 3 examined whether persuasion would increase challenge seeking, when children convince someone else of the value of taking on challenges and persisting. Study 4 examined effects over time, and found that children showed a robust boost in challenge seeking two weeks later, especially those who were reminded of the original book. Study 5 examined whether the effects could be due to a particular aspect of the books, process praise, which sends a message that effort and persistence are effective and valued. Increasing children's motivation at a young age may set the stage for future academic achievement, creating a cycle of positive motivation and academic success.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2011
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Master, Allison Leigh
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Psychology
Primary advisor Dweck, Carol S, 1946-
Thesis advisor Dweck, Carol S, 1946-
Thesis advisor Markman, Ellen M
Thesis advisor Walton, Gregory M. (Gregory Mariotti)
Advisor Markman, Ellen M
Advisor Walton, Gregory M. (Gregory Mariotti)


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Allison Master.
Note Submitted to the Department of Psychology.
Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2011
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2011 by Allison Leigh Master
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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