Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

2018 Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association


15 pp.

Conference Name

2018 Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, April 16, 2018, New York, New York


The predominant aggregate-statistical analyses in motivational research manifest assumptions that stand in tension with understandings of motivational phenomena as dynamic, contextual, and variable among individuals. Using constructs from expectancy-value theory, we collected 13 weekly waves of data from 145 undergraduate students during one semester of an introductory biology course. We analyzed the data using dynamic autoregressive mixed-effects modeling, which captures the individual-level recursive processes among constructs, and then examined patterns across individuals’ motivational trajectories to discern general principles by which the expectancy-value system operates. The findings contribute to robust theoretical understandings of expectancy-value processes, and demonstrate the application of an analytical approach to motivational research that is compatible with the nature of motivational phenomena.


© 2018 The Authors.

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Original Publication Citation

Kaplan, A., Cao, X. H., Dai, T., Obradovic, Z., Perez, T., Cromley, J. G., Mara, K., & Balsai, M. J. (2018, April) Motivation as a complex system: Semester-long recursive dynamics of expectancy-value constructs in undergraduate biology [Poster presentation]. Paper presented at the 2018 American Educational Research Association, New York, New York.


0000-0002-2008-2555 (Perez)