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Academic motivation as a predictor of the development of critical thinking in students

Anna Berestova (Sechenov University, Moskva, Russian Federation)
Sergey Kolosov (South Ural State University, National Research University, Celabinsk, Russian Federation)
Milena Tsvetkova (Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski, Sofia, Bulgaria)
Elena Grib (Moscow Aviation Institute, National Research University, Moskva, Russian Federation)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 21 May 2021

Issue publication date: 31 May 2022




The study deals with the problems of development of critical thinking among university students, its connection with motivation for learning and academic achievements of students. The purpose of the study is to define the relationship between academic motivation and critical thinking.


The study involved a survey based on the academic motivation scale. A total of 520 students from four universities in Russia and one Bulgaria University were interviewed.


The analysis of the questionnaires showed that among the students surveyed the types of motivation contributing to self-development and analysis predominate, namely self-development, cognitive, achievement and self-esteem motivation. The null hypothesis of the study that there was no difference between the average score of the critical thinking test (Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, WGCTA) for total sample and the results of students with dominant types of academic motivation that contribute to critical thinking was rejected.


It was revealed that academic motivation has a notable effect on critical thinking and can become a predictor of its development. Several ways have been proposed to track and help students with low academic motivation: regular testing, identification of students with amotivation and strong extrinsic motivation, and psychological support for such students.



Berestova, A., Kolosov, S., Tsvetkova, M. and Grib, E. (2022), "Academic motivation as a predictor of the development of critical thinking in students", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 1041-1054.



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