The applicability of western motivation models to the Taiwanese context Chapter uri icon


  • This article summarizes results from three separate studies of motivation in Taiwanese elementary and middle school classrooms. Together, these studies suggest that, in general, western models of motivation are applicable to Taiwanese contexts. Several culturally specific effects, however, emerged. Contrary to original goal theory predictions, Study 1 illustrated that Taiwanese students seemed to hold both mastery and performance goal orientations at the same time. Similar results obtained in Study 2, regardless of instructional method used in mathematics, suggesting a cultural emphasis on dual goals. These results are more consistent with revised goal theory (e.g., Harackiwicz, Barron, Tauer, and Elliot, 2002) than with original conceptions of goal theory (e.g. Nicholls, 1984). To test this assumption explicitly, Study 3 divided performance goals into performance-approach and performance-avoid subtypes. Taiwanese students with both performance-approach and mastery goals demonstrated highly adaptive strategies for learning in the classroom. Interestingly, the holding of performance-approach goals was not related to high levels of anxiety as would be predicted from western motivation theories. Implications for motivation theory development are discussed. 2006 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Shih, S. S., Wang, C. H., & Alexander, J. M.

complete list of authors

  • Shih, SS||Wang, CH||Alexander, JM

Book Title

  • Trends in Educational Psychology

publication date

  • December 2006