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Why children differ in motivation to learn: insights from 13,000 twins from 6 countries

Kovas, Y., Garon-Carrier, G., Boivin, M., Petrill, S., A., Plomin, R., Malykh, S., B., Spiath, F., Murayama, K., Ando, J., Bogdanova, O., Brendgen, M., Dionne, G., Forget-Dubois, N., Galajinsky, E. V., Gottschling, J., Guay, F., Lemelin, J.-P., Logan, J., A., Yamagata, S., Shikishima, C. , Spinath, B., Thompson, L., A., Tikhomirova, T., N., Tosto, M., G., Tremblay, R. and Vitaro, F. (2015) Why children differ in motivation to learn: insights from 13,000 twins from 6 countries. Personality and Individual Differences, 80. pp. 51-63. ISSN 0191-8869

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.02.006

Abstract/Summary

Little is known about why people differ in their levels of academic motivation. This study explored the etiology of individual differences in enjoyment and self-perceived ability for several school subjects in nearly 13,000 twins aged 9 to 16 from 6 countries. The results showed a striking consistency across ages, school subjects, and cultures. Contrary to common belief, enjoyment of learning and children’s perceptions of their competence were no less heritable than cognitive ability. Genetic factors explained approximately 40% of the variance and all of the observed twins’ similarity in academic motivation. Shared environmental factors, such as home or classroom, did not contribute to the twin’s similarity in academic motivation. Environmental influences stemmed entirely from individual specific experiences.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Social
ID Code:39330
Publisher:Elsevier

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