Metamotivation: Emerging Research on the regulation of motivational states
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Until recently, research examining the self-regulation of motivation focused primarily on the strategies people use to bolster the amount of motivation they have for pursuing a task goal. In contrast, our metamotivational framework highlights the importance of also examining if people recognize which qualitatively distinct types of motivation (e.g., promotion vs. prevention) are most helpful for achieving their goal, given the demands of the task or situation. At the heart of this framework is the idea that any given motivational state involves performance tradeoffs, such that it may be relatively beneficial for some tasks, but detrimental for others. In this piece, we review research suggesting that, on average, people (a) possess metamotivational knowledge of such tradeoffs (particularly those posited by regulatory focus theory, self-determination theory, and construal level theory), (b) recognize strategies that could be used to induce adaptive motivational states, and (c) implement this knowledge (at times) to increase the likelihood of performance success. We also discuss future directions for metamotivation research, including whether and when individual differences in metamotivational knowledge predict real-world outcomes, how such metamotivational knowledge develops, and whether there is a general metamotivational competency that predicts people’s sensitivity to a broad range of motivationally-relevant performance tradeoffs.
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David B. Miele, Abigail A. Scholer, Kentaro Fujita (2020). Metamotivation: Emerging Research on the regulation of motivational states. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17225
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