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Adding the culturally specific ingredients: the Chinese and American models of learning persistence, including learning beliefs, choice and the internalization of learning motivation


This study challenged the widely spread assumption that East Asian students are more persistent than their American counterparts because they are more likely to believe that success results from efforts rather than innate ability. The examination was conducted through comparing the impact of three factors— internalization of learning motivation, learning beliefs, and preference of choice—on learning persistence between 888 Chinese and 361 American college students represent East Asian and Western students respectively. Structural equation modeling was conducted to testify the culturally specific pathways towards persistence. The findings suggested that American and Chinese students were sharing two common factors (integrated internalization and belief in effort) that predict their persistence significantly. Moreover, there are also differences between Chinese and American students. Guilty and having choice are significant factors for Chinese students’ learning persistence, while ego is a significant factor for American students’ persistence. Such results suggested that the East Asian students are not more persistence and their education model should not be imported by other countries even though they perform better in international large-scale assessments.

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Research data can be provided by the author upon request.


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This study was funded by the institution Summer Research Grant (no Grant Number).

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Correspondence to Yurou Wang.

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Wang, Y. Adding the culturally specific ingredients: the Chinese and American models of learning persistence, including learning beliefs, choice and the internalization of learning motivation. Soc Psychol Educ (2021).

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  • Persistence
  • Learning beliefs
  • Choice
  • Internalization
  • Motivation