School learning motivation is a crucial psychological process in developmental and education psychology. An issue widely discussed in current literature, regarding the theoretical and empirical domains, deals with methodologies aimed at evaluating motivational components. According to a broad definition of school motivational profile, including variables such as self-esteem, self-efficacy, personal conceptions of intelligence, achievement goals, a number of instruments has been developed for decades. The international literature underlies how motivation research has developed a strong tradition of self-report methodologies. In this paper we discuss advantages and limits of self-report instruments and we describe different measurement approaches such as phenomenological, neuropsychological/ psysiological, behavioural approach. It is worth emphasizing that a single approach is unable to capture the multidimensional nature of student’s learning motivation. So alternative multi-method approaches, integrating the above-mentioned measurement strategies, are necessary to optimize the analysis of motivational profile and generate new knowledge. To date, these new methods raise to several critical questions concerning epistemological issues about the theoretical framework which are able to describe more deeply developmental processes and disambiguate findings from single approaches.
Keywords: Assessment, motivation, self-reports, test.