Sample Psychology Paper on Motivational Processes Affecting Learning 

Motivational Processes Affecting Learning

Question 1

Adaptive motivational patterns enhance learning and assist an individual to achieve performance goals because they establish, maintain, and enable the individual to attain challenging and valuable goals. Conversely, maladaptive motivational patterns hinder learning and goal achievement because they dissuade the individual from striving for goals even if the said goals are within reach (Dweck, 1986). Children with maladaptive motivational patterns are aggressive, anxious, and utterly disadvantaged in the acquisition of cognitive skills.

Children with adaptive motivational patterns develop cognitive skills quickly and take on challenging mental tasks positively. Positive attributions and beliefs describe thought processes that encourage motivation, boost constructive emotions, and lead to the development of admirable behavior. Conversely, a child with negative thought processes is often demotivated and emotionally drained, and is likely to exhibit behavioral problems.

Question 2

Contrary to popular belief, a child’s ability appears not to have a direct effect on motivation. A child with a high IQ, achievement test scores, and good grades does not necessarily gain confidence that he or she will do better in the future, or he or she will maintain the ability to perform well under similar circumstances.

Question 3

Sex differences in learners’ mathematical achievement manifest because of implicit beliefs that either encourage them to regard the subject as challenging but doable or challenging and undoable. Dweck’s model shows that most girls prefer tasks they know they are exceptionally good at, while boys prefer tasks at which they have to work harder to achieve the desired goals. Therefore, some girls assume they are not good at math and subsequently fail, while some boys know they have to work hard to pass, which they do. Hence, sex differences occur because of ingrained beliefs and attitudes.

Question 4

Dweck’s model provides crucial insights into the sex differences in achievement levels between boys and girls. One way to counter these differences is to eliminate the misunderstood concept that boys are naturally better at math than girls are. On the contrary, there is a need to enforce motivational interventions that encourage girls to take on challenging subjects. They should know that growth happens when the mind faces a challenge.


Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational Processes Affecting Learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040-1048