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2009 - ISPP 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting Pages: 49 pages || Words: 14717 words || 
1. Woodson, Ben. "Anxiety and Motivated Reasoning - A Threat Based Cognitive Motivational Model of Motivated Reasoning" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISPP 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Jul 14, 2009 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-24 <>
Publication Type: Paper (prepared oral presentation)
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The main hypothesis of this paper is that an increase in state and trait anxiety will cause an increase in motivated reasoning. A situation that increases state anxiety will increase motivated reasoning, and those people who are high on trait anxiety will have higher motivated reasoning at all times. The experiment to test this hypothesis will also test the effects of anger and positive affect on motivated reasoning, but the expected results and theory involving these two emotions has not been developed yet.

The cognitive-motivational model of anxiety and motivated reasoning is based on threat. The two basic forms of motivated reasoning tested in this paper – disconfirmation bias and confirmation bias – can be thought of as the avoidance of threat. The disconfirmation bias is when someone counter-argues against an attitude-incongruent argument or avoids the threat of that argument by diminishing its threatening nature. The confirmation bias is the tendency of people to read attitude-congruent arguments rather than attitude-incongruent argument. This is the avoidance of threat because the attitude-incongruent arguments are identified as a threat and then avoided by reading the attitude-congruent information. Anxiety will lead to an increase in both of these because an increase in anxiety increases the likelihood someone will identify a stimulus as a threat. When a stimulus is identified as a threat, the person then engages in motivated reasoning to “flee” the threat. The experiment that will be discussed in the paper will be conducted in March or April.

2015 - AAAL Annual Conference Words: 49 words || 
2. Sundqvist, Pia., Korp, Helena. and Henry, Alastair. "Generating Engagement: A Content Analysis of the Motivational Qualities in EFL Teachers’ Descriptions of Motivating Activities" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AAAL Annual Conference, Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, ON, Canada, Mar 21, 2015 <Not Available>. 2020-02-24 <>
Publication Type: Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In delivering motivational activities, teachers are poorly supported by principled advice. The research objectives were to examine activities teachers consider motivational. Descriptions of activities provided by Swedish EFL teachers from a randomly-drawn sample (N=325) were analysed. Themes, frequencies, and exemplar activities are presented. Proposals for practice development are offered.

2015 - SRCD Biennial Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
3. Hardy, Sam., Curtis, Jacob. and Gonzales, Claudia. "Abstinence Motivation Scale: A Self-Determination Theory Measure of Teen Motivations to Abstain from Sex and Alcohol" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 19, 2015 <Not Available>. 2020-02-24 <>
Publication Type: Individual Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Adolescence is a time of heightened engagement in health-risk behaviors such as sexual risk-taking and hazardous alcohol use (Santrock, 2012). Researchers have identified numerous risk and protective factors (Chassin, Hussong, & Beltran, 2009; Diamond & Savin-Williams, 2009), but little is known about adolescents’ reasons for engaging in or abstaining from health-risk behaviors. Nevertheless, motivations may be more proximal to behavior than known risk and protective factors (Heckhausen & Heckhausen, 2008). Much of what we do know linking motivations to risk behaviors pertains to reasons for engaging in the behaviors. However, given that abstinence is generally the more adaptive behavioral pattern, more work is needed to understand motivations for abstinence from health-risk behaviors.
Research is emerging on reasons some teens abstain from sex and alcohol (e.g., Patrick et al., 2010), but it has largely been exploratory and atheoretical. Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2002) can be leveraged for understanding adolescents’ motivations for abstinence from health-risk behaviors. This theory postulates that people differ in the extent to which they are externally versus internally motivated. Some people are more externally motivated by consequences, self-evaluative affect (e.g., guilt), or need for approval. Other people are more internally motivated because they value and identify with certain actions. Internal, autonomous motivations more powerfully and reliably yield behaviors than external, controlled motivations (Deci & Ryan, 2002). Thus, the purpose of the present study was to develop a quantitative scale for capturing abstinence motivations along this continuum of motivations, and gain a better understanding of links between such motivations and abstinence from sex and alcohol.
Late adolescents (N = 695; half of the sample was used to reduce the items, and the other half to estimate the models) recruited using an online survey panel completed an online survey regarding sex and alcohol use and their motivations to abstain. Based on prior theory and research (e.g., Ryan & Connell, 1989), 77 SDT items each were created for abstinence from sex and alcohol. Using a sophisticated algorithm that considered nine pieces of information for each item (e.g., social desirability, skewness, factor loadings, and convergent validity), we narrowed the items down to the best 3 items for each of the four types of motivation, for each of the two risk behaviors (for a total of 24 items). We then compared various factor structures using confirmatory factor analysis. The four factor solutions fit best for sex and alcohol, although some factor intercorrelations were large. Lastly, we estimated structural equation models predicting behavior (accounting for social desirability as a covariate), loading the six controlled items onto a controlled motivation factor, and the six autonomous items onto an autonomous motivation factor. For sex, autonomous motivation was a strong negative predictor and controlled motivation was a weak positive predictor. For alcohol, autonomous motivation was a strong negative predictor but controlled motivation was not significant. In sum, self-determination theory provides a coherent framework for assessing motivations to abstain from health risk behaviors in adolescence.

2017 - Association of Teacher Educators Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
4. Ridgewell, Natalie. "The Motivation to Become a Teacher: Exploring Relationships Among Florida Teachers’ Motivations, Demographics, and Preparation Programs" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators, Orlando Caribe Royale, Orlando, Florida, Feb 10, 2017 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2020-02-24 <>
Publication Type: Multiple Paper Format
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This presentation describes the motivations of current Florida teachers to elect a teaching career, as well as the relationships among their motivations, characteristics, and preparation pathway.

2017 - APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition Words: 242 words || 
5. Pasek, Josh. and Weeks, Brian. "Informed=Motivated? Explaining the Paradox of Knowledgeable Motivated Reasoners" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, TBA, San Francisco, CA, Aug 31, 2017 <Not Available>. 2020-02-24 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: A growing body of evidence suggests that individuals find ways to reject information that contradicts their preferences. And much of the work on partisan motivated reasoning finds that the most knowledgeable individuals are, in fact, the most likely to engage in biased processing. Yet, little work has systematically explored what it is about knowledge that leads people to discredit countervailing claims. In this study, we leveraged a purported change to the U.S. tax code to examine how individuals react to a policy proposal with unfavorable implications for most citizens. In a survey experiment on a national sample of Americans, we compared six individual-level explanations for the knowledge moderation: that it is due to individuals’ education levels, prior knowledge about the topic, perceived knowledge about the topic, information-seeking behaviors, need for cognition, and/or cognitive engagement. We also examined how experimentally manipulating the amount, valence, and salience of expert arguments about the policy influenced attitudes toward the proposal as well as the proclivity to counter-argue. Results suggested that prior knowledge and cognitive engagement drove attitudes and increased the extent of counterargument. Education levels, information seeking, and perceived knowledge did not uniquely contribute to any measures of rejection. Similarly, changes in expert argumentation did not sway respondents; instead they interpreted the quality of expert arguments in line with their own attitudes. Hence, the relation between knowledge and counterargument depends less on what people encounter at the moment than what cognitions they bring to the table.

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