Development and socialization of motivation and gender differences, achievement motivation, self-regulation and learning, motivation for literacy, motivation interventions

Dr. Allan Wigfield is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, and University Honors Faculty Fellow at the University of Maryland. He was appointed in 2015 as an Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Heidelberg. His research focuses on how children's motivation develops across the school years in different areas, and also on developing interventions to improve children’s motivation. In his intervention work he has focused primarily on children’s reading motivation and comprehension.  Dr. Wigfield has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on children’s motivation and other topics, including the chapter on the development of motivation in the Handbook of child psychology (6th and 7th editions). He was Associate Editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology from 2000 to 2002 and Associate Editor of Child Development from 2001 to 2005. He was editor of the teaching, learning, and human development section of the American Educational Research Journal from 2007-2010. Dr. Wigfield has won numerous awards for his research and also for his teaching, including in 2019 the Sylvia Scribner Award from Division C of the American Educational Research Association. His work has been cited over 75,000 times

2019                    Sylvia Scribner Award, Division C, American Educational Research Association

2016                   University Graduate Mentor of the Year

2014                   University Honors Faculty Fellow, University of Maryland

2014                   Appointed Honorary Faculty Member, University of Heidelberg, Germany

2009                   Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Education, University

                           Of Illinois                                        

2008                   Fellow, American Educational Research Association

2007                   Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

2002                   Distinguished Scholar – Teacher, University of Maryland

2001                   Outstanding Service to the Schools Award, University of Maryland

1998                   Vernon E. Anderson Distinguished Faculty Award, College of Education,

                           University of Maryland

1997                   Fellow, American Psychological Association (Division 15, Educational    Psychology)

1992                   AERA Division E (Counseling and Human Development) Human            Development Research of the Year Award

Selected from 2015–present

Special Issues of Journals

Wigfield, A., & Koenka, A. C. (Eds.) (2020).  Motivation theory: Where we are and where we are going. Special issue, Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Journal Articles

Ponnock, A., Muenks, K., Morell, M., Yang, J. S., Gladstone, J., & Wigfield, A. (2020). Grit and conscientiousness: Another jangle fallacy. Journal of Research in Personality.

Morell, M., Yang, J. S., Gladstone. J. R., Faust, L. T., Ponnock, A. R., Lim, H. J, & Wigfield, A. (2020).  Grit: The long and short of it.  Journal of Educational Psychology.

Wigfield, A., & Koenka, A. C. (2020). Where do we go from here in academic motivation theory and research? Some reflections and recommendations for future work. Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2020).  From expectancy-value theory to situated expectancy value theory:  A developmental, social cognitive, and sociocultural perspective on motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Gaspard, H., Lauermann, F., Rose, N., Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2020). Profiling the cross-domain development of students’ motivations: Joint trajectories of students’ ability self-concepts and values in math and language arts.Child Development.

Rosenzweig, E. Q., Wigfield, A., & Hulleman, C. S. (2019). More useful, or not so bad? Examining the effects of utility value and cost reduction interventions in college physics.  Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/edu0000370

Rosenzweig, E. Q., Hulleman, C. S., Barron, K. E., Kosovich, J. J., Priniski, S. J., & Wigfield, A. (2019). The promises and pitfalls of adapting utility value interventions for online mathematics courses. Journal of Experimental Education, 87(2), 332-352.

Rosenzweig, E. Q., Wigfield, A., Gaspard, H., & Guthrie, J. S. (2018). How do perceptions of importance support from a reading intervention affect students’ motivation, engagement, and comprehension? Journal of Research in Reading, 41(4), 625-641.

Steinmayr, R., Weidinger, A., & Wigfield, A. (2018). Are “gritty” students more successful in school? On the relative importance of grit for school achievement.Contemporary Educational Psychology.

Gaspard, H., Wigfield, A., Jiang, Y., Nagengast, B., Trautwein, U., & Marsh, H. W. (2018). Dimensional comparisons: How academic track students’ achievements are related to their expectancy and value beliefs across multiple domains. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 52, 1-14.

Muenks, K., Yang, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2018). Associations between grit, motivation, and achievement in high school students. Motivation Science, 4, 158-176.

Muenks, K., Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2018). I can do this! The development and calibration of children’s expectations for success and competence beliefs. Developmental Review48,24-39.

Muenks, K., Wigfield, A., & Yang, J. S. (2017). Associations between grit, motivation, and achievement in high school students. Motivation Science, 4, 158-176.

Rosenzweig, E. Q., & Wigfield, A. (2017). What if reading is easy but unimportant? How students’ patterns of affirming and undermining motivation for reading information texts predict different reading outcomes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 48, 1133-1148.

Skaalvik, E., Federeci, R. A., Wigfield, A., & Tangen, T. N. (2017, online). Students’ perceptions of mathematics classroom goal structures: implications for perceived task values and study behavior. Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal.

Muenks, K. M., Wigfield, A., Yang, J. S., & O’Neal, C. (2017). How true is grit? Assessing its relations to high school and college students’ personality characteristics, self-regulation, engagement, and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109, 599-620.

Muenks, K. M., Miele, D. L., & Wigfield, A. (2016). How students’ perceptions of the source of effort influence their ability evaluations of other students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 438-454

Rosenzweig, E. Q. & Wigfield, A. (2016).   STEM motivation interventions for adolescents: A promising start, but farther to go. Educational Psychologist, 51, 146-163.

Wigfield, A., Gladstone, J., & Turci, L. (2016). Beyond cognition: Reading motivation and reading comprehension. Child Development Perspectives.Online version published May 23. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12186

Musu-Gillette, L., Wigfield, A., Harring, J., & Eccles, J. S. (2015). Trajectories of change in students’ self-concepts of ability and values in math and college major choice. Educational Research and Evaluation, 21,343-370.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2020). 35 Years of research on students’ subjective task values and motivation: A look back and a look Forward. To appear in A. Elliot (Ed.), Advances in motivation science (Vol. 7).  New York: Elsevier.

Wigfield, A., & Ponnock, A. (2020).  Expectancy – value theory and students with special cognitive and emotional needs. In A. Martin, R. A. Sperling, & K. J. Newton (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology and students with special needs. New York: Routledge.

Wigfield, A., & Gladstone, J. (2019).  How students’ expectancies and values relate to their achievement in times of global change and uncertainty. In E. N. Gonida & M. Lemos (Eds.), Motivation in education at a time of global change: Theory, research, and implications for practice (Advances in motivation and achievement, Vol. 20). London: Emerald.

Wigfield, A., Turci, L., Cambria, J. & Eccles, J. S. (2019). Motivation in education. In R. Ryan (Ed.), Oxford handbook of motivation(2ndEd.).  New York: Oxford University Press.

Rosenzweig, E. Q., Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2019). Expectancy-value theory and its relevance for student motivation and learning.  In S. Hidi & K. A. Renninger (eds.), Handbook of motivation and learning.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press.

Tonks, S., Wigfield, A, & Eccles, J. S. (2018). Expectancy-Value theory in cross-cultural perspective: What have we learned in the last 15 years? In G. A. De Liem & D. McInerney (Eds.), Recent advances in sociocultural influences on motivation and learning: Big theories revisited(2ndEd.).  Greenwich, CT: Information Age Press.

Guthrie, J. T., & Wigfield, A., (2017). Literacy engagement and motivation: Rationale, research, teaching and policy. In D. Lapp & D. Fisher (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching the English Language arts (4thEdition).

Wigfield, A., Gladstone, J., & Turci, L. (2017). Development of children’s ability beliefs and values and school-based interventions to improve them. In F. Guay, H. W. Marsh, R. G. Craven, & D. M. McInerney (Eds.), International advances in self-research (Vol. 6: Self: Driving positive psychology and well-being). Information Age Press.

Wigfield, A., Rosenzweig, E. Q., & Eccles, J. S. (2017).  Achievement values.  In A. Elliot and C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation(2nded.) pp. 116-134).  New York: Guilford.

Wigfield, A., Muenks, K. R., & Rosenzweig, E. Q. (2016). Achievement motivation. In H. Miller (Ed), Encyclopedia of theory in psychology(Vol. 1, pp. 1-4). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wigfield, A., & Rosenzweig, E. Q. (2016). Motivation and cognition.  In H. Miller (Ed.), Encyclopedia of theory in psychology(Vol. 2, pp. 569-573). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wigfield, A., Tonks, S., & Klauda, S. L. (2016). Expectancy-value theory. In K. R. Wentzel & D. Miele (Eds.), Handbook of motivation in school(2nded., pp. 55-74). New York: Routledge.

Wigfield, A, Eccles, J. S., Fredricks, J., Simpkins, Roeser, R., & Schiefele, U. (2015).  Development of achievement motivation and engagement.  In R. Lerner (Series ed.) and M. Lamb (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science(7thed., vol. 3, pp. 657-700).  New York: Wiley.






2019-2023                Improving Students’ Mathematics Experiences: How does Success Impact Students’ Memories, Motivation, and Engagment:

                                 Funding Agency: IES.  Total costs:  $1,393,711

                                 I am co-PI on this project, working on all aspects of the study’s design

                                 and implementation. Subcontract to UMD: $250,000


2016-2019                An Examination of Grit in Relation to Diverse High School Students'   STEM Motivation, Self-Regulation, and Outcomes: A  

                                  Longitudinal Validation Study  Funding agency: NSF.  Total direct costs: $859,385 

                                   I am PI on this project, which is a study of how students’ grit relate to their motivation and achievement in STEM

Motivation in Education Research Group (MERG)- Our group works on projects pertaining to many different aspects of motivation and self-regulation, including the development of children and adolescents' motivation and how it is socialized at home and in school, developing interventions to enhance students' motivation and enagement in reading and STEM course areas, and examining whether grit indeed is a construct distinct from other well-known constructs such as conscientiousness and self-regulation.