Is Motivational Style Related to Sex or Gender Identity? A Study of Young Singaporeans

Author: Richard Howard Abstract: This study investigated whether individual diff erences in motivational style, as conceptualized and operationalized in reversal theory, are more closely linked to biological sex (male or female) or gender identity. The overarching hypothesis was that gender identity, but not sex, would be reflected in diff erent motivational styles. In a mixed-sex sample of Singaporean students, motivational style was measured …

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Architecture and the Protective Frame

Author: Sally Augustin and Michael J. Apter Abstract: Architecture and interior design can have a significant e ect on psychological state. Reversal theory helps to explain how and why design supports particular motivational and functional objectives — or fails to do so. Paratelic states require a protective frame; design can make it more likely that space-users in a paratelic state will …

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Understanding Reversal Theory: Six Critical Questions

Author: Michael J. Apter Abstract: This paper discusses reversal theory in a general way that brings out its key features and places it in the broadest context. What is the central idea of the theory? What is its essence? What kind of theory is it? How does it di er from other theories? Where did it come from in psychology and …

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Elaborating the Mastery State and the Confidence Frame

Author: Jonathan R. Males, John H. Kerr, Joanne Hudson Abstract:  The role of the mastery metamotivational state and the antecedents of the confidence frame have, until now, been poorly defined in reversal theory (RT) research. The purpose of this theoretical manuscript is to provide an elaboration of RT’s mastery state and more clearly define its …

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Respondent Self-Focus and the Internal Consistency of the Motivational Style Profile

Author: Kenneth M. Cramer, Kathryn D. Lafreniere, Phillip A. Ianni Abstract:  One of the underlying tenets of both personality and social psychological theory assumes that questionnaire respondents have access to their thoughts and feelings. The same tenet underlies the various reversal theory states (e.g., telic/paratelic, negativism/conformity, autic mastery/sympathy, alloic mastery/sympathy), so that individuals who are more …

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Development and Validation of an Implicit Measure of Meta-Motivational States

Author: Laura B. Thomas, Joanne Hudson, Emily J. Oliver Abstract: The development of an easily-administered, valid and reliable meta-motivational state measure, capable of assessing the full spectrum of states, is needed to further the understanding and application of reversal theory (Apter, 2013). The present paper outlines an adaptation of the Stroop protocol to implicitly measure meta-motivational states …

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Lecture Engagement and Metamotivational States: Tracking and Intervention

Author: Kenneth M. Cramer, Kathryn D. Lafreniere Abstract: We studied the underlying motives governing students’ active learning in the classroom. Previous investigations indicate that during a standard lecture, student ratings of engagement decrease along with serious-mindedness (telic state). In each of two studies, a questionnaire packet was distributed to participants at the start of their 75-minute social …

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Exploring the Concept of Focus in Reversal Theory

Author: Michael J.  Apter Abstract: Two main kinds of motivational change have been suggested in reversal theory: reversal and focal change. The latter, to which comparatively little attention has been paid so far, is about the relative importance of di fferent motivational states and values in conscious experience at a given time and over time. If reversals are …

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Found in Translation: Bringing Reversal Theory to Design for Play

Authors: Mathieu A. Gielen, Lieselotte van Leeuwen Abstract: In the design of objects for children’s play, support from psychology is often sought in general developmental overviews, typologies of play, and age-related performance and preference descriptions. These sources may give an insight into global aspects of child development but have limited utility for understanding the situated motivations of an individual child. …

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Towards a Theory of Things: Reversal Theory and Design

Author: Michael J. Apter   Abstract: The aim of this paper is to initiate the development of a “theory of things.” This would be a theory of the psychological impact that objects of various kinds have on people, especially on their motivation and emotions, and would call on reversal theory for its foundations. On the applied side, it would be …

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