I came across another reference to how CS education does not produce bimodal grade distributions etc. Also re-read some stuff about gender issues, that women are not mentored and supported and so on. I have no desire to raise those issues again.
However, I do feel that there is some sort of difference in motivation. Not to do with gender, race, income, etc, but just as a human trait. We have the OCEAN traits in Psychology (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Affability / Amiability, and Neuroticism. These seem to be universal. Is motivation something that varies among people? Can differences in motivation affect how hard they study, persevere, self-teach, find alternatives, and other factors that lead to success in studying and in the workplace?
Does Motivation vary? (Not the actual question, just the premise.)
Is Motivation what we need to focus on regardless of any other factors? (The actual question.) Three factors of motivation are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. I see those all as being self-defined, relevant only to oneself.
I know that since I was a child, anything I chose for myself as my goal, whether learning about electronics, or resisting my schoolwork, I pursued with the greatest force and energy that I could rouse. Everything else was simply not important. So, when I went to college, I already knew I wanted to learn programming, nothing else mattered. I didn't have mentoring, I barely even went to office hours. I just did it on my own, which is what I did in all my pursuits of personal interest, like radio, or learning photography or whatever. So, I am at a loss to understand why college students do not know what they want to major in, or why they are not motivated to work on their core courses. Why don't they leave college and just do what they actually wish to instead?
My guess is that because I was Introverted (one of the OCEAN traits) I preferentially chose tasks for myself that were intrinsically rewarding when pursued alone, and which could not be blocked by having no access to other people. 'Others' and their preferences were the block, so I "routed around" it.
Please enlighten me. Maybe motivation is bimodal, and is the real issue underlying inequity, etc? if I understand other people better, I can do better.