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Motivation, ability and task strategy use in skill acquisition

By Janice Langan-Fox and Michael J. Sankey


Individual differences are fundamental to performance. Prior research had highlighted the importance of individual differences in skill acquisition through the use of ability-performance frameworks. However, studies in this area have largely neglected the influences of motivation and strategy use. The current chapter questioned the role of motivation, ability, and strategy in learning a new skill, and whether these variables interacted to influence performance. An existing model was used to test the relationships between ability, motivation and performance in skill acquisition, with effective strategy use proposed as a mediating variable. A sample comprising both students and employees was administered a number of ability measures and then performed an adapted test-editing task. Results offered support for an interaction between motivation and ability, with motivation found to be most beneficial to low-ability individuals. In addition, effective strategy use was found to play a mediating role in both motivation-performance and ability-performance relationships

Topics: Motivation, Performance, Skill acquisition, Strategy
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Year: 2009
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