Cultivating Competence, Self-Efficacy, and Intrinsic Interest Through Proximal Self-Motivation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dale H. Schunk, Dean (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The present experiment tested the hypothesis that self-motivation through proximal goal setting serves as an effective mechanism for cultivating competencies, self-percepts of efficacy, and intrinsic interest. Children who exhibited gross deficits and disinterest in mathematical tasks pursued a program of self-directed learning under conditions involving either proximal subgoals, distal goals, or no goals. Results of the multifaceted assessment provide support for the superiority of proximal self-influence. Under proximal subgoals, children progressed rapidly in self-directed learning, achieved substantial mastery of mathematical operations, and developed a sense of personal efficacy and intrinsic interest in arithmetic activities that initially held little attraction for them. Distal goals had no demonstrable effects. In addition to its other benefits, goal proximity fostered veridical self-knowledge of capabilities as reflected in high congruence between judgments of mathematical self-efficacy and subsequent mathematical performance. Perceived self-efficacy was positively related to accuracy of mathematical performance and to intrinsic interest in arithmetic activities.

Additional Information

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 586-598.
Language: English
Date: 1981
Motivation in education, Children, Mathematical instruction, Goals