Helping education undergraduates to use appropriate criteria for evaluating accounts of motivation

Rebecca Soden, Effie Maclellan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    150 Downloads (Pure)


    The aim of the study was to compare students in a control group with those in a treatment group with respect to evaluative comments on psychological accounts of motivation. The treatment group systematically scrutinized the nature and interpretation of evidence that supported different accounts, and the assumptions, logic, coherence and clarity of accounts. Content analysis of 74 scripts (using three categories) showed that the control group students made more assertions than either evidential or evaluative points, whereas the treatment group used evaluative statements as often as they used assertion. The findings provide support for privileging activities that develop understanding of how knowledge might be contested, and suggest a need for further research on pedagogies to serve this end. The idea is considered that such understanding has a pivotal role in the development of critical thinking.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-458
    Number of pages14
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2005


    • higher education
    • motivation
    • critical thinking

    Cite this