Motivation and Academic Performance: An Inter-country Comparison

Lewis R. Gale, Clifford Nowell


The objective of this paper is to explore the impact of amotivation on academic performance and to test whether the impact of motivation on academic performance differs across students from China and the U.S. Using data from Chinese and U.S. students located in their home countries, we find amotivation negatively impacts academic performance of both groups of students. We also show that external motivation is positively associated with academic achievement. While these findings are consistent with results from previous studies, we extend the understanding on the relationship between motivation and academic performance by demonstrating that the magnitude of the detrimental impact of amotivation differs between students in the two countries and that the positive impact of higher levels of external motivation provides similar benefits for both groups of students.

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