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Joshua Joseph

on 16 July 2014

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Transcript of SELF-WORTH THEORY (COVINGTON – 1976)

- Developed in 1976 by Martin Covington and R.G. Berry

-Self-worth theory - a person's ability to achieve is directly linked to their perceptions of themselves.

"protect their sense of worth or self-value," even if it infringes on the ultimate outcome of their achievement (Covington, 1984, p. 4).


Mr. Joshua Gabriel Joseph
10th Grade English II
Why & How is this Applicable Today?
-This explains why students today often confuse ability with worth.
Four Main Elements of Self-Worth
1. ability

2. effort

3. performance

4. self worth
What does this Mean?
From a psychological perspective, school achievement, in the minds of most of today's youth, is primarily revolves around maintaining a positive self-image of one’s abilities.
In short...
it can be difficult to predict whether someone will choose to learn/complete a challenging task or find a reason to fail that protects their self-image.
Why & How is this Applicable Today?
Today, people increasingly equivocate what one is capable of accomplishing with their value.

I can't operate this Macbook Pro, but others can. I feel inadequate as a result of not being able to do something others can.
Especially when facing competitive failure.
First Main Element of Self-Worth:
One's self-perception of ability; how one defines ability or the lack thereof.
Second Main Element of Self-Worth:
-Individuals often equate effort with success.
If one puts forth a lot of effort, despite success, they may still define themselves as having a high degree of self worth.
Second Main Element of Self-Worth:
The converse can also be true. For instance,
if an individual puts forth little effort and still succeeds, he/she may devalue the outcome's worth and therefore his/her own self-worth.
Third Main Element of Self-Worth:
How one performs a given task can also influence one's perception of his/her self worth.
For instance, if one believes he/she has performed well, than this evaluation can correlate with self-worth.
Two Types of Self-Worth Perspectives
-Success-oriented individuals:
appear especially adept at selecting achievement strategies to fit prevailing circumstances.

prefer to work on tasks for which the probability of success is approximately equal to the likelihood of failure.

This assures them of sufficient successes to sustain further effort and to maintain interest, yet without cheapening the rewards of success by too easy a victory.
Two Types of Self-Worth Perspectives
Failure- avoiding persons:

often select achievement tasks that are either too easy or too difficult.

creating the very failures and poor records of achievement that they are attempting to avoid.
Covington's Schematic Diagram of the Self-Worth Model
Main Ideas in Self-Worth Theory
-Excuses Serve as Self-Protection by:

avoiding revealing their ignorance
account for lapses in responsibilty

(Covington, 2009, p.145)

-One sentence analysis.
-One sentence application.
-One sentence Evaluation.
Directions: The following are a list of situations that you will be asked to identify.
Identify what is lacking (ability or willingness), and what you believe the student's level of self-worth is.
Example 1
Julie is currently an A+ student, however, her mother has told her that Julie can increase her chances of getting into the college she wants if she also participated in a sport. Julie's only physical interest has been biking and they don't offer that at her school.
Example 2
Robert is a student who's mother is no longer present in his life, and his father works most of the time to pay the bills. Robert leaves school on time each day to pick up his younger sisters from Elementary school. Recently, Robert's Drama teacher has asked him to play the lead role in a play Robert has read and memorized independently, and the rehersals will be held after school.
Create Example
Create your own scenario, and ask the partner you THINK-PAIR-SHARED with at the beginning of class to support, in the same way, his/her answers.
Before We Begin...

Briefly describe what you define as ability, willingness, success, and failure.
Pair with one partner and compare your definitions.
Share how you are similar and/or different and explain why.
The Self-Worth Theory of Achievement Motivation: Findings and Implications
by Martin V. Covington







Closing Questions
1. What is the Self-Worth Theory?

2. Who lead the study?

3. What are the two main factors in decision making / taking action?

4. How can you apply this to your thoughts and actions when you leave today?
Full transcript