Technique for Studying Motivation Toward Scientific Activity: Development and Practical Application
Introduction. As our analysis has shown, the literature offers very few publications that address the issue of diagnosing motives for scientific activity in adult research professionals. Being guided by the principles of the meta-system approach, we developed the concept of motivation toward scientific activity as a theoretical foundation for the appropriate diagnostic technique. According to this concept, motivation toward scientific activity includes 10 various motivational subsystems (groups of motives) such as external, internal, value, cognitive, reflexive, and indirect ones, competition-, security-, and achievement-related motives, and anti-motivation. These subsystems are reflected in the corresponding scales of the developed technique.
Methods. A total of 944 research professionals at various research institutes, including universities, and commercial scientific organizations from different cities of the Russian Federation participated in this study. Exploratory factor analysis was employed to select tasks for the technique.
Results. The final version included 70 items (7 for each of the 10 scales), of which 25,71% were ‘reverse-worded’ and 74,29% were ‘positive-worded’. The technique met the criteria of test-retest reliability (r= .899, р = .001), half-split reliability (Spearman–Brown: r= .822, p = .001; Rulon: r= .814, p = .01), and internal consistency reliability (r= .814, p≤ .05). The authors determined empirical validity of the technique by examining the relationship between scientific productivity and motivation. The Motivational Profile test by W. Richie and P. Martin was instrumental in testing construct validity. A Shapiro–Wilk test showed that the scores for each scale were normally distributed, which made it possible to use sten-score scales.
Discussion. The practice of psychological support of research activity at the RAS research institutes and R&D commercial organizations enabled authors to provide recommendations for chiefs, psychologists, and human resource managers for managing and optimizing the structure and level of motivation among research workers and increasing their labour productivity.
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