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People are motivated to develop competence and solve problems by rewards and punishments but often have intrinsic reasons for learning that may be more powerful.
Learners tend to persist in learning when they face a manageable challenge (neither too easy nor too frustrating) and when they see the value and utility of what they are learning.
Children and adults who focus mainly on their own performance (such as on gaining recognition or avoiding negative judgments) are less likely to seek challenges and persist than those who focus on learning itself.
Learners who focus on learning rather than performance or who have intrinsic motivation to learn tend to set goals for themselves and regard increasing their competence to be a goal.
Teachers can be effective in encouraging students to focus on learning instead of performance, helping them to develop a learning orientation.