(ORDO NEWS) — With the beginning of the exam period, parents and teachers begin to look for different ways to motivate schoolchildren and students to succeed in their studies. According to psychologists, approaches to motivation should differ depending on the level of self-confidence of the one you are going to motivate.
Dr Richard Remedios, Associate Professor of the Psychology of Student Motivation and Engagement at the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University (UK), has worked with colleagues to study how motivational phrases are perceived by students preparing for their final exams in England.
Research projects have included surveys about what types of motivational messages they receive from their parents, and previous studies have conducted surveys about such messages from teachers.
Survey results have shown that the effectiveness of a message does not depend on what it is, but on how it is perceived. As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And motivation is in the ears of the listener.
For example, this is a common motivational phrase used by educators: “If you don’t work hard, you won’t get the grades you need to get into university.” This type of message focuses on the negative consequences of poor performance and is essentially a call to experience fear.
Studies have shown that the effect of such a phrase is highly dependent on the initial level of confidence of the student.
Self-confident students will take the call to fear as a challenge that motivates them. But for those who are less self-confident, the reaction to such a call will lead to an increase in anxiety levels, and motivation may not get stronger.
Initial results from a study of parenting motivational phrases showed that students are motivated by the desire to make their parents proud, but that the same motivation is associated with anxiety.
But more encouraging phrases, such as “passing exams is not the end of the world,” were positively associated with student confidence.
In addition, pupils and students were asked how much they agree with some of the statements. For example: “When your parents remind you about upcoming exams, does that make you want to stop studying?”
While self-confident students tended to disagree with this statement, insecure students did. This means that the constant reminder of exams for an insecure student can lead to problems, not benefits.
As Dr. Remedios noted, their work is different in that instead of focusing on certain phrases that are considered to have a positive or negative effect, they focused on the perception of the same phrases by different students.
Scientists drew conclusions based on the individual characteristics of students and came to the conclusion that their reaction depends to a large extent on self-confidence.
The main message of the study is that students are less likely to experience anxiety or anxiety if the phrases they hear are more based on the idea that everything will be fine. Meanwhile, reminders of bad consequences do not motivate, but cause anxiety and anxiety.
As the authors of the work emphasize, fortunately, parents are usually well aware of the degree of confidence of their children. Scientists advise using this understanding to help the child, not to harm.
In other words, if you know that he is not confident in his knowledge, it is better not to remind him about the exams, but only support if the child talks about them himself. And in no case do not focus on the negative consequences.
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