N. Moskvicheva

Saint Petersburg State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Traditionally there are a lot of studies devoted to research activity of university students at the professional education. One of the actual issues is a problem of quality of student’s researches. There is a question of searching factors, which determine execution of a study and create conditions of increasing its efficiency.
We introduce a concept of a research potential and assume this concept as a predictor of quality of studies. The Research potential can be represented as three components. The first component of research potential is motivation which induces and supports research activity of students. The second component of research potential describes cognitive features ensuring intellectual, creative, and scientific reasoning abilities. The third component of research potential is a system of self-esteem, self-control and self-regulation which provide a personality control of processes of researching, evaluating of research results and correcting of further studies. Each of these components can be developed by creating required conditions in the educational environment.
The main point of this article is motivation’s component of research potential. There are multiple kinds of motives in research activity of students. Cognitive motives (cognitive needs, intention to solve the research problems) are directly relevant to the content of research activity and provide the best results (A.A.Rean, 1999) if the other components of the research potential are sufficiently developed. Student’s researches are also stimulated by a range of social motives – aspirations to get recognition of future colleagues, to obtain a good position at the department, material incentives etc. They are indirectly related to the research subject and can reduce the quality of research in those cases when they play a leading role. Motives of obligation and avoiding failure push students to apply easy ways of conducting research and contribute to lowest quality of it. So different kinds of motivation give a different personality meanings of the researches and determine the directions and quality of students’ studies. The relative importance of different motives depends on personality attitudes of students and the conditions of the educational environment.
The aims of our study are to analyze types and proportion of different kinds of motives in students’ research activity on different stages of education and to investigate relationships between motives of research activity and personality traits of students. Also we have studied parameters of an educational environment which affect students’ motivation of research activities.
We have used personality and motivation tests, a questionnaire, content, comparative, and correlative analysis. A sample consisted of 90 undergraduates and graduate students from different faculties of Saint Petersburg State University, Russia.
As a result we obtained differences in the proportions of different kinds of cognitive motives, social motives and motives of obligation of undergraduates and graduate students. Analysis of the data shows correlations between personality traits of students and the types of their motivation of research activity.
Thus, the study clarified the motivation component of the research potential and described some environmental and personal determinants of motivation in research activity of undergraduates and graduate students.