The Motivation in Education Research Group (MERG) is led by Dr. Allan Wigfield and is located at the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland, College Park. MERG's research broadly focuses on the achievement motivation and self-regulation of students from elementary school through college and how students’ motivation and self-regulation relate to their academic performance and choices.

The director of MERG is Dr. Allan Wigfield. His research is covered more extensively in an interview with the Journal of Advanced Academics and in a video interview with AERA Motivation SIG.



Motivation in Education Research Group Logo
Allan Wigfield Interview - YouTube

The MERG team’s research is based primarily on expectancy-value theories of motivation. We focus broadly on questions such as:

  • How do students’ motivational beliefs and values change across the school years?
  • How do these beliefs and values relate to their engagement and achievement?
  • Do these beliefs and vary by student gender?
  • How do social influences (e.g., parents, teachers) promote or hinder students’ motivation and achievement?
  • What instructional practices can teachers use to increase students’ motivation in school contexts?
  • What are the relations and overlap among students’ motivational beliefs and values, grit, and self-regulation?