Measuring Academic Motivation to Achieve for Malaysian High School Students Using a Rasch Measurement Model

Document Type

Book Chapter


Nova Science Publishers


Community Services, Education and Social Sciences






This chapter was originally published as: Waugh, R. F., & Njiru, J. N. (2005). Measuring academic motivation to achieve for Malaysian High School Students Using a Rasch Measurement Model. In R. Waugh (Ed.), Frontiers in Educational Psychology (pp. 3-35). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers. Original book available here


A conceptual model of academic motivation was based on striving for excellence (standards, goals, tasks, effort, values, and ability), desire to learn (interest, responsibility for learning, and learning from others), and personal incentives (extrinsic, intrinsic, and social rewards). A unidimensional, linear scale of academic motivation was created by analysing student data using the Extended Logistic Model of Rasch (Andrich, 1988a, 1988b; Rasch, 1980/1960) with the computer Program Rasch Unidimensional Measurement Models (RUMM - 2010) (Andrich, Sheridan, Lyne & Luo, 2000). A person convenience sample of 522 high school students of senior (A-level) classes (year 12 and 13) was used. The sample was taken from three high schools in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah state in Malaysia. The sample consisted of 294 girls (56%) and 228 boys (44%). The stem-item sample was initially 50, answered in two perspectives (what I aim for and what I actually do), and reduced to 20 that fitted the measurement model to form a unidimensional scale from which valid and reliable inferences could be made. Items for striving for excellence (standards, goals, tasks, effort, and ability) (but not values), desire to learn (interest and learning from others) (but not responsibility for Learning), and personal incentives (extrinsic, intrinsic) (but not social rewards) fitted the measurement model. The proportion of observed variance considered true was 0.92. There was strong agreement amongst the students to the item ‘difficulties’ along the scale. The motivation items were easier than their corresponding behaviour items, as conceptualised.