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Reversing the paradigm: Motivational fluidity predicts lower student engagement

Hudson, J, Mason, L, Waters, T, Thomas, LB and Oliver, E (2022) Reversing the paradigm: Motivational fluidity predicts lower student engagement. Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality: Reversal Theory Studies, 11. pp. 8-16. ISSN 2331-2343

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There is a need to enhance understanding of the dynamic process of student engagement in Higher Education (Shernoff, 2013) using methods that embrace intra- and inter-individual change and processes and a theoretical framework that offers a dynamic, intra- and interindividual approach to interpret motivation, affect, and behavior. This study used reversal theory (Apter, 2018) to investigate university students’ engagement and affect in relation to metamotivational state reversals during three large-group 50-minute lectures. 172 participants reported their affect at the start of the lecture and affect, engagement, and metamotivational state at three randomly chosen timepoints throughout each of three lectures early, mid, and late semester. Where differences occurred, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional engagement were higher and affect more positive/less negative in non-reversers than reversers, with one exception: agentic engagement was higher in reversers than non-reversers during the final week (p < .05). Across all three weeks the majority of students reported no reversals (72.478.7%) and were mostly in the telic, conformist and autic-sympathy or autic-mastery states. Thus psychodiversity, based on our context-specific operationalisation, was observed but not widely demonstrated, and overall, did not appear to be beneficial. Curiously, the only benefit was in relation to an interactive form of engagement. Our findings suggest that most students matched their metamotivational states to the demands of the environment (see Apter, 2018). Further inquiry is needed into psychodiversity and into a key aspect of reversal theory that needs attention: understanding how people control, or can be taught to control, their reversals (Apter, 2013).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Reversal Theory Society
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2022 14:05
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2022 14:05
DOI or ID number: 10.12689/jmep.2022.1102
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17720
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