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Motivational and Emotional Profiles in University Undergraduates: a Self-Determination Theory Perspective

  • Antonio González (a1), Verónica Paoloni (a2), Danilo Donolo (a2) and Cristina Rinaudo (a2)


Previous research has focused on specific forms of self-determined motivation or discrete class-related emotions, but few studies have simultaneously examined both constructs. The aim of this study on 472 undergraduates was twofold: to perform cluster analysis to identify homogeneous groups of motivation in the sample; and to determine the profile of each cluster for emotions and academic achievement. Cluster analysis configured four groups in terms of motivation: controlled, autonomous, both high, and both low. Each cluster revealed a distinct emotional profile, autonomous motivation being the most adaptable with high scores for academic achievement and pleasant emotions and low values for unpleasant emotions. The results are discussed in the light of their implications for academic adjustment.

Investigaciones previas han analizado distintas formas de motivación autodeterminada y emociones concretas relacionadas con las clases, pero pocas han examinado simultáneamente ambos constructos. El objetivo del presente trabajo, con 472 universitarios, es doble: realizar un análisis de conglomerados para identificar en la muestra grupos homogéneos en su motivación; y determinar el perfil de cada grupo en sus emociones académicas y su rendimiento. El análisis cluster configuró cuatro grupos según su motivación: controlada, autónoma, ambas altas, y las dos bajas. Cada cluster mostró un perfil emocional diferenciado, siendo el de motivación autónoma el más adaptativo, con valores elevados en rendimiento académico y emociones agradables y bajos en las desagradables. Se discuten los resultados y sus implicaciones para el ajuste académico.


Corresponding author

Correspondencen concerning this article should be addressed to Antonio González. Área de Psicología Básica. Universidad de Vigo. Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación. As Lagoas. 32004. Ourense (Spain). Phone: +34-988387110. Fax: +34-988-387159. E-mail:


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Motivational and Emotional Profiles in University Undergraduates: a Self-Determination Theory Perspective

  • Antonio González (a1), Verónica Paoloni (a2), Danilo Donolo (a2) and Cristina Rinaudo (a2)


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