Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 131–158 | Cite as

Identification with Academics and Motivation to Achieve in School: How the Structure of the Self Influences Academic Outcomes



Authors since William James (1892/1968) have implied that the structure of the self-concept can influence motivation and outcomes in particular domains. The value or importance an individual places on a domain influences how motivated that individual is to expend effort in that domain, ultimately influencing the positivity or negativity of the outcomes in that domain (the outcomes then likewise influence the valuing of that domain). Taking the example of identification with academics (selectively valuing an academic domain as central to the self-concept), we review the importance of psychological centrality and present a theoretical model directly linking the structure of the self to motivation and outcomes, something not explicitly discussed in the literature to date. Finally, strategies are suggested for how to increase a student’s identification with academics, which this theoretical framework suggests should lead to improved motivation to achieve in academics and improved outcomes for students.


Identification with academics Motivation Value Self-concept Self-esteem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.School of EducationVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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