Understanding Training Motivation Requires Attention to Affective and Cognitive Factors

New published work from Dr. Behrend and WAVE  alumnus Dr. Garett Howardson:
garett research gateIn the current issue of The International Journal of Training and Development, Howardson and Behrend report on a study investigating different sources of self-efficacy beliefs in training. The authors identify an important gap between education and organizational research that exists in terms of what contributes to self-efficacy beliefs. While education research has previously focused on one set of sources of self-efficacy beliefs, organizational researchers have focused on another. This study considers the influence of separate sources identified from both areas within the same context. The results suggest that in addition to achievement goal orientation, vicarious experience and negative emotional arousal are also important sources of pre-training self-efficacy. As is noted in the article, this has important implications for organizations that are considering how to design pre-training interventions that will improve training effectiveness. In short, people who are feeling anxious don’t do as well in training. People who have the benefit of seeing others who are similar to them succeed end up doing better in training. Incorporating this knowledge into training design will help make the training more effective.

The abstract and details for accessing this article can be found here.


In the Academy of Management: Learning and Education (currently available as an advanced online publication) Howardson and Behrend expand upon the construct of affective trainee reactions by providing a model that conceptualizes reactions as a structure explained by four factors. The paper presents the development and validation of a new measure that assesses training reactions using this conceptualization and discusses the implications for learning and course reputation outcomes. More information about this article can be found here.