Assessment of motivational states in performance environments

Gerald Matthews, Sian E. Campbell, Shona Falconer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The development of a new measure of operator motivational state is described, within the framework of a model of subjective stress that distinguishes Task Engagement, Distress and Worry as fundamental aspects of state (Matthews et al., 1999). Previous work on task motivation suggests that strivings for success should be distinguished from interest in the task. Factor analysis of items representing these constructs in a sample of 880 supported the development of reliable, psychometrically distinct scales for Success and Interest Motivation. Both dimensions relate to Task Engagement, but Success Motivation, perhaps surprisingly, is also associated with negative emotions and self-beliefs. The two scales showed different patterns of dependence on task factors. They were also distinguished by differing associations with workload and coping measures, although both related to higher effort and use of task-focused coping. It is concluded that the scales are promising for use in human factors research that addresses the need to structure tasks for greater operator interest and engagement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)906-910
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001


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