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Need for Cognition and Motivation Differentially Contribute to Student Performance

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The need for cognition and motivation are related to performance in school and standardized tests. In this study, 422 students completed a battery of individual difference measures and reported their scores on the American College Testing (ACT) exam, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), high school grade point average (GPA), major GPA, and overall college GPA. Need for cognition was positively related to ACT and SAT scores, respectively, but not GPA. Achievement motivation was positively correlated with high school GPA, major GPA, overall college GPA, ACT score, and SAT score. The results showed that need for cognition may be related to standardized testing performance, whereas motivation, particularly achievement motivation, is related to performance in the classroom and in the major. Our results indicate that the need for cognition is distinct from the enjoyment of thinking and motivation toward challenge.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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