Relationships between motivational factors and critical thinking

Jorge Valenzuela, Ana Nieto, Carlos Ossa, Sergio Sepúlveda, Carla Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The performance of critical thinking skills depends on motivational factors. Based on the expectancy-value motivational theory, this paper analyzes the effect of motivational components (expectancy, utility, attainment, cost, and interest) on the performance of critical thinking skills, and estimates the predictive capacity of these factors on critical thinking skills. In this study, three instruments were applied to a sample of 254 Spanish university students: the Motivation for Critical Thinking Scale (EMPC) and two scales of critical thinking skills: PENCRISAL and CCTST. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the motivational components that best explain the performance of these skills. The results show that, regardless of the critical thinking test used, the motivational variables explain the variance in the performance of critical thinking skills ranging from 8% to 17%. Finally, the importance of considering these components of motivation to promote performance in these critical thinking skills is discussed.

Translated title of the contributionRelaciones entre factores motivacionales y pensamiento crítico
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Education and Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Motivation
  • critical thinking
  • expectancy-value
  • multivariate analysis
  • skills


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