The applicability of western motivation models to the Taiwanese context

Shu Shen Shih, Chih Hung Wang, Joyce M. Alexander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrends in Educational Psychology
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)9781594548130
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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