Possible Selves and Academic Motivation in Russian and American College Students
The study presents the relationship between the positive and negative possible selves in the academic domain and academic motivation. Despite the fact that previous studies have noted the motivating potential of possible selves, the relationship between the attributes of possible selves and academic motivation has not been subjected to conscious scrutiny. The sample was formed by 361 participants, Russian (Moscow, HSE) and American (Miami, Florida International University) college students. The Possible Selves Questionnaire and the Academic Motivation Scale were applied. It was found that Russian and American students that have a significant positive possible self in the academic domain have a higher motivation to accomplish things compared to those who do not have this future image. It was demonstrated that among Russian students attributes of positive possible selves (time spent thinking, actual achievement strategies, obstacles) are connected with the self-development motivation. American students are characterized by interrelationships between attributes of positive possible selves (time spent thinking, perceived efficacy, outcome expectancy, importance, obstacles) and motivation to accomplish things, as well as partly other types of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Russian students did not demonstrate any significant interrelationships between attributes of negative possible selves and academic motivation, while Americans revealed the interrelationships between the outcome expectancy to avoid a negative possible self and motivation to accomplish things, as well as introjected motivation. The research results are discussed from the self-regulation perspective and in the context of socio-cultural differences.