Students’ Science Motivation: A Cross- Country Analysis of the Relationship with the Science Literacy Level



The paper presents results of a comparative study of motivation for studying science in Russia and leading countries in science education. We explored the relationship and its strength between various types of motivation and the level of science literacy. The analysis was based on the data of the international study PISA-2015, represented by a sample of 15-year-olds (N = 6036).We found a significant positive correlation between intrinsic and achievement motivation and the level of science literacy almost in all analysed countries. At the same time, in case of intrinsic motivation — which is the strongest predictor for achievement in other countries — the increase in PISA results was lower for Russian students. On the other side, with an increase in motivation focused on academic achievement, Russian students have one of the most noticeable increases in results in comparison with leading countries. The nonlinear nature of the relationship between instrumental motivation and the PISA results for Russian students was also revealed — students with the highest and lowest levels of this type of motivation show the best results. The potential prospects of using different kinds of programs for raising motivation and achievement are discussed.

General Information

Keywords: motivation, science literacy, school education, cross-country research, PISA

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 19-29-14190.

For citation: Getman A.V., Kersha Y.D., Kosaretsky S.G. Students’ Science Motivation: A Cross- Country Analysis of the Relationship with the Science Literacy Level. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2020. Vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 77–87. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2020250607. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Anastasia V. Getman, PhD Student, Teacher, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Yulia D. Kersha, PhD Student, Research Intern of the Pinsky Centre of General and Extracurricular Education, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Sergey G. Kosaretsky, PhD in Psychology, Director of the Pinsky Centre of General and Extracurricular Education, Institute of Education, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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