Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Psychology, Research Center of Educational Sciences and Behavioral Sciences Researches, Faculty of Humanities, Hormozgan University, Bandar Abbas


Background and Objective:In various studies, the factors affecting academic achievement and performance are divided into two categories: the first category are variables and factors that are outside the learner and include factors such as teacher teaching method and socio-economic status of students and the category; the second are the variables that are related to the learner and are known as personal factors that include motivation, attitude, self-efficacy and cognitive factors. From the perspective of educational psychologists as well as teachers, motivation is one of the key concepts and is used to explain different levels of student performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the causal relationship between motivational variables and academic performance in science, mediated by conceptual understanding in male and female students of the eighth grade.
Methods: The sample was recruited from all of eighth grade students in Darab city, Iran. The research method was correlational. The data gathered through the three questionnaires: the modified version of Harter's (1980, 1981) scale, Attitude Survey Questionnaire, and the researcher-made conceptual understanding of Science. In the descriptive section, the mean, standard deviation and correlation coefficient were used and in the inferential section, structural equation modeling was used.
Findings: The results showed that all relationships between variables, except the extrinsic motivation for conceptual understanding were significant. Results also indicated that all indirect hypotheses, except the indirect relation of extrinsic motivation to the academic performance in science mediated by conceptual understanding were confirmed.
Conclusion: In the explanation of the present study that there is no significant relationship between external motivation and conceptual understanding, it can be pointed out that students who are motivated externally, study activities simply to achieve the desired outcomes such as approval or reward and prevent undesirable consequences such as punishment. In other words, the external factor controls their behavior and encourages them to perform a specific activity. According to behaviorists, learning is a change in the obvious behavior of the individual and its realization requires the use of positive and negative reinforcers. And these environmental stimuli, which are used to reinforce or inhibit observable behaviors, lead to behavioral changes. Since behaviorists focus on observable and measurable behaviors, not on inaccessible mental processes, and given that conceptual understanding is a mental process related to one's perceptions, it is not unreasonable to expect that there is no significant relationship between external motivation. And observe conceptual understanding.


Main Subjects

©2019 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers. 

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