Expectancy is defined by Schunk et al. (2008) as “people’s beliefs and judgments about their capabilities to perform a task successfully.” When an individual believes that the task is manageable and success is possible, motivation level in that particular individual in performing and engaging in the task will be higher. In the other hand, if the task is view as difficult and possibility of success is low, individuals will not want to be involved in it. Also, even when a student is much interested in a particular task, after repeated failure and failure is opt to happen, student will give up engaging in the task eventually.

Value is “the beliefs students have about the reasons they might engage in a task” (Schunk et al., 2008). This will answer the question “Why should I do this?”, “What will I get after all the hard work?” or “Is all the hard work worth it?” There might be all sorts of reason for someone to get himself or herself to be engaged in a task. A student may read up the whole book so that he/she will be brought to the zoo, but the other student might think that a zoo trip might worth only a chapter of reading. The value depends on the individual, some may work hard for a small reward, and some may only agree to work when a big value is seen.

Both Expectancies & Values are important for teachers. By being able to understand this theory and applying it in the classroom setting, teachers will be able to predict their students’, future choice behaviour, academic task engagement, persistence and also their actual achievement. Also, by knowing this theory, teachers will be able and will know the ways in getting the students motivated in their studies and class participation.


Back to the early years when motivation was firstly studied, researchers explain motivation in a behavioural perspective. Theorist studied motivation by experimenting it on animals and they came out...