The purpose of this paper is to refine and extend White’s model of effectance motivation, with particular emphasis on its developmental implications. This expanded model focusses on the following: the need to isolate components of effectance motivation at different developmental levels; an examination of the effects of failure as well as success; the relationship between task challenge and the degree of pleasure experienced; the role of social agents and the reinforcing environment; the developmental internalization of a self-reward system; the need to examine the relative strength of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations; certain correlates such as perceived competence and perceived control as consequences and mediators of one’s motivational orientation. The paper emphasizes the need to translate theoretical concepts into researchable formulations which can be empirically tested within a developmental context.

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