Knowledge Growth, Academic Beliefs and Motivation of Students in Business and Economics - A longitudinal German Case Study

Martin Biewen, Roland Happ, Susanne Schmidt, Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia


In this study we examine the determinants of and the relationship among economic knowledge, epistemological beliefs, and extrinsic and intrinsic motivation over the course of undergraduate studies in a sample of students of business and economics at a university in Germany. We found economic knowledge increased over the course of studies, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation declined, and students became more skeptical in their epistemological beliefs about the objectivity of economic content being taught in their courses. The students’ level of economic knowledge was related to intrinsic motivation but unrelated to extrinsic motivation and epistemological beliefs. Furthermore, the students’ tendency to become more skeptical over the course of their studies was mitigated by high levels of extrinsic motivation. The use of internationally established assessments such as the Test of Economic Literacy, developed by the Council of Economics Education, enables implications for higher education business and economics programs at the international level to be drawn from our findings. 

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Copyright (c) 2018 Martin Biewen, Roland Happ, Susanne Schmidt, Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia

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Higher Education Studies  ISSN 1925-4741 (Print)   ISSN 1925-475X (Online)


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