The Relationship between Iranian Male and Female EFL Learners’ Motivation and their Identity: Perfectionism and Hardiness

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


The learners’ identity is one of the most important key elements of learning to motivate learners to learn English. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the male and female EFL learners’ motivation and their identity with a focus on gender. The study had a descriptive correlational design. The participants of this study were 50 Iranian male and 50 female postgraduate English majors, aged between 23 and 41, who were selected through convenient sampling. Three questionnaires of motivation, hardiness, and perfectionism were distributed among the participants. The results of Pearson correlation analyses demonstrated that there was not a significant relationship between EFL learners’ motivation and their hardiness in both genders. Also, the results showed no significant relationship between EFL learners’ motivation and their perfectionism in the two groups. Moreover, the results of independent-sample t-tests failed to find any significant difference between male and female students’ motivation and their hardiness and perfectionism. 


Akhbari, M. R. Mohtashami, A. R., & Tajari, F. (2015). Studying the relationship between hardiness and resilience personality traits and academic achievement among students of Kashan University. Science Journal, 36 (3), 1-8.
Besharat, M., E. (2002). Perfectionism dimensions in depressed and stressful patients. The Journal of Psychological Sciences, 3, 248-263. [in Persian]
Britt, T. W., Adler, A. B., & Bartone, P. T. (2001). Deriving benefits from stressful events: The role of engagement in meaningful work and hardiness. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 6, 53–63.
Cole, M.S., Field, S.H., & Harris, S.G. (2004). Student learning motivation and psychological hardiness: interactive effects on students’ reactions to a management class. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 3 (1), 64 – 85.
Crookall, D., & Oxford, R. (1991). Dealing with anxiety: Some practical activities for language learners and teacher trainees. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Dornyei, Z. (1998). Motivation in second and foreign language learning. Language Teaching, 31, 117-135.
Dornyei, Z., & Taguchi, T. (2010). Questionnaires in second language research (2nd ed.). New York, Routledge.
Ely, C. M. (1986). An analysis of discomfort, risk taking, sociability and motivation in the L2 classroom. Language Learning, 36 (1), 1-25.
Esmaeelkhani, F., Ahadi, H., Mazaheri, M., Mehrabizadeh Honarmand, M., & Asghari, P. (2010). A study of the relationship between unitary and multiple intelligence, self – efficacy psychological hardiness and conflict adaption management style among students. New Discoveries in Psychology, 4(11), 107-123. [in Persian]
Gregersen, T., & Horwitz, E. K. (2002). Language learning and perfectionism: Anxious and non-anxious. The Modern Language Journal, 86, 562-570.
Hassan, H. K., Abd- El-Fattah, S. M., Abd-El-Maugoud, M. K., & Badary, A. H. A. (2012). Perfectionism and performance expectations at university: Does gender still matter? European Journal of Education and Psychology, 5, 2, 133-147.
Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (1991). Perfectionism in the self and social contexts: Conceptualization, assessment, and association with psychopathology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, (3), 456-470.
Kaur, J., & Phil, M. (2014). Personality development with English language acquisition. Language in India: Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow, 14, 115-122.
Kobasa, S. C., Maddi, S. R., & Kahn, S. (1982). Hardiness and health: A prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 168–170.
Kuurme, T., & Carlsson, A. (2012). The importance and meaning of learning at school in students’ consciousness. International Education Studies, 5 (4),166-167.
Miquelon, P., & Vallerand, R.J. (2005). Perfectionism, academic motivation, and psychological adjustment: An integrative model. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31 (7), 913-924.
Pishghadam, R., & Akhondpoor, F. (2011). Learner perfectionism and its role in foreign language learning success, academic achievement, and learner anxiety. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2 (2), 432-440.
Schwartz, S. J., Luyckx, K., & Vignoles, V. L. (Eds.). (2011). Handbook of identity theory and research. New York, Springer Science+ Business Media.
Stoeber, J. & Otto, K. (2006). Perfectionism in adolescent school students: Relations with motivation, achievement, and well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 42 (7), 1-38.
Weiten, W., Lloyd, M. A., & Lashley, R. L. (1991). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 90s. Pacific Grove, CA: Brook & Cole Publishing.
Wiley, J., & Sons (2000). An investigation of perfectionism, mental health, achievement, and achievement motivation in adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 37 (6), 535-545.
Zoghi, M., Kazemi, A., & Kalani, A. (2013). The Effect of Gender on Language Learning. Journal of Novel Applied Sciences, 2 (4), 1124-1128.