Cognitive abilities and motivational processes in high school students' situational engagement and achievement in science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Building on Snow's (1989) idea of 2 pathways to achievement outcomes, a performance and a commitment pathway, this study examined how cognitive and motivational factors associated with each of these pathways, respectively, contributed to the prediction of achievement outcomes in science. The sample consisted of 491 10th- and 11th-grade high school students. Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that (a) students' cognitive abilities were the strongest predictors of their performance in science as measured by standardized test scores; (b) motivational processes enhanced the predictive validity for science test scores and grades beyond the variance accounted for by ability; and (c) motivational processes were the strongest predictors of students' commitment to science in the form of situational engagement and anticipated choices of science-related college majors and careers. These results are consistent with Snow's (1989) conjecture that both performance and commitment pathway-related factors are necessary for understanding the full range of person-level inputs to achievement outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-162
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science

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