Elements of Motivational Structure for Studying Mechanical Engineering

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Author: Nikša Dubreta, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Damir Miloš, Catholic University of Croatia, Croatia
Email: niksa.dubreta@fsb.hr
Published: December 4, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.3.04

Citation: Dubreta, N., & Miloš, D. (2017). Elements of Motivational Structure for Studying Mechanical Engineering. IAFOR Journal of Education, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.3.04


Abstract

The article presents the findings on students' reasons for studying mechanical engineering. These reasons were covered in terms of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation additionally related to selected independent variables of the sample – students' secondary school Grade Point Average, their gender and the socio-economic status. The research was conducted with the first year students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. The sample consisted of 282 students (228 males and 54 females) and comprised students of all majors. According to descriptive character of the questionnaire type survey characteristics of the sample are presented. Composite variables of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation were dichotomized to present different levels of the students' overall motivational structure. Results indicate a students' interest in the field of science and technology as the most important element of intrinsic motivation, with no significant relation to any of independent variables. By contrast, extrinsic motivation has manifested as significantly related to the variables of Grade Point Average and to parents' education as one component of the socio-economic status. However, a significant level of indecisive respondents regarding the both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation suggests that the choice of the study programme is not always a consistent and an unambiguous process.

Keywords

motivation, engineering, education, freshmen