AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: Sociocultural Perspective of Expectancy-Value Theory in the Last 10 Years of Research
Authors: Stephen M. Tonks, Allan L. Wigfield, Jacquelynne Eccles
The purpose of this presentation is to summarize the current status of expectancy-value theory (E-V theory) in the field of motivation research, and to present highlights of recent research in diverse cultures using E-V theory and related motivation constructs.
E-V theory remains a robust theory in the motivation literature and we believe its importance and “presence” in the field has increased over the last ten years. The theory posits the first component, expectancy beliefs, as students’ expectancy for success on a task assigned to them, often operationally represented by constructs such as perceived outcome expectancies, self-efficacy, or self-concept. The second component, values, represent students’ beliefs about the extent to which they see a task as interesting, instrumental, importance, and costly. Regarding sociocultural perspectives, E-V theory has long acknowledged that cultural influences help determine expectancy beliefs and values, and their relationships with choice, persistence, and performance. Therefore, this model is quite appropriate for investigating motivation and behavioral choices in cultural context.
The literature has documented that, over the last 10 years, there has been continued work on the development of expectancies and values and their relations to performance and choice. Much of this research has been done in North America, but a number of studies has also been done in diverse cultures, such as Australia and Germany (Nagy, Watt, Eccles, Trautwein, Lüdtke, & Baumert, 2010), Korea (Lee, Bong, & Kim, 2014), and Ghana (Mahama, Silbereisen, & Eccles, 2013). In addition, two new areas of research have emerged in the last decade. The first looks at how interventions designed to enhance students’ valuing of achievement increases both their motivation for and achievement in different areas, particularly STEM subject areas. The second is work on the perceived cost of engaging in different activities; Eccles-Parsons et al. (1983) initially defined cost in terms of what one has to give up to do something else, and viewed it as impacting students’ valuing of different tasks. However, cost received little research attention until relatively recently.
In this presentation, we will summarize work done in these three areas both in North America and around the world, highlighting the cross-cultural applicability of E-V theory. As part of this discussion we will consider the sufficiency of the universal etic model, and when and where culturally specific emic models are more appropriate.