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Theoretical Levels in the Evaluation of Motivational Trainings

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      Summary Ascertaining the effectiveness of a motivational training is considered one of the most difficult functions of evaluation research since one must account for numerous biases that can distort the results. When conducting an evaluation of a complex training - not just a single measurement - one is confronted with the problem that the evaluation is executing a simultaneous test of an entire family of theories. These embrace (1) the motivational theory that underlies the conception of the motivational training, (2) the promotional goals that are derived from these theories, and (3) the practical implementation of a training that aims to attain these promotional goals. A further problem is the asymmetry inherent in the findings of evaluations that can either attest to or cast doubt over the success of a training. In the first case, one runs the risk of overgeneralizing positive results; in the second, one is faced with the difficulty of determining the precise source of these negative results, which can be anchored on one of three different levels. This article offers, from a metatheoretical perspective, a few preliminary responses to the problems associated with the evaluation of complex motivational trainings.

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      Most cited references 15

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      Achievement motivation: Conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance.

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            Author and article information

            [ 1 ] University of Vienna, Austria
            [ 2 ] University of Ulm, Germany
            Author notes
            Barbara Schober, Dr. Department of Psychology, University of Vienna, Universitätsstraße 7, A-1010 Wien, Austtria, +43 1 4277-47873, +43 1 4277-47879, Barbara.Schober@
            Albert Ziegler, Prof. Dr., Department of Educational Psychology, University of Ulm, Robert-Koch-Str. 2, D-89069 Ulm, Germany, +49 781 503-1133, +49 781 502-3072, albert.ziegler@
            European Journal of Psychological Assessment
            Hogrefe Publishing
            September 2002
            : 18
            : 3
            : 204-213
            jpa1803204 10.1027//1015-5759.18.3.204
            Self URI (journal-page):
            Original Articles


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