Learning and individual differences vol:11 issue:3 pages:321-333
In this commentary, we applaud the elaboration of volition research in the direction of motivational and emotional regulation. However, we also warn for an overly positive image of volitional strategies in educational literature. First, we plead in favor of the construction of a widely acceptable instrument that is needed to enhance comparability between empirical data. However, it must be kept in mind that scores on this instrument provide convenient redescriptions of volitional behavior rather than an explanation for this behavior. Further, we argue that a lack of volition need not necessarily reflect maladaptive study strategies. Some types of students may not need volitional strategies very often. Moreover, chronic use of volitional strategies may have negative consequences. We also argue in favor of a more interactional approach, because not all volitional strategies may be equally adaptive for all types of students in all types of learning environments. Further, we point out that volition is not only needed to persist on difficult or unattractive activities but also to quit easygoing activities. Finally, we argue that enhancing volitional skills in students should not lead to unintentional consolidation of some types of existing evaluation methods.