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ERIC Number: EJ1007945
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Constructing Motivation through Choice, Interest, and Interestingness
Patall, Erika A.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v105 n2 p522-534 May 2013
Psychological research and theory have traditionally suggested that opportunities for choosing will lead to motivation and performance benefits. However, evidence on choice effects has not been ubiquitously positive, and recent investigations have revealed factors that diminish or reverse the effects of choosing. This investigation sought to extend this line of inquiry by examining whether interest factors may influence preferences for choosing and the effects of choice on motivation and performance. In Study 1, participants read a series of scenarios and reported a greater preference for choosing aspects of a task when the task was more, compared to less, personally interesting. Similarly, Study 2 revealed that choosing aspects of a trivia game enhanced post-task interest for the game only for individuals high in initial individual interest for trivia games in general. In contrast, Study 3 revealed that choosing enhanced post-task interest, perceived competence, value, and relative liking for a reading comprehension task when the reading passage was boring. When the passage was interesting, choosing resulted in less adaptive motivation outcomes. Going further, exploratory analyses revealed a 3-way interaction, suggesting that choosing enhanced willingness to engage in the task again only for those high in initial individual interest for reading and when the particular version of the task was boring. Interactions between choice and interest were not revealed for task performance in either Study 2 or Study 3. Rather, performance was higher among individuals who chose compared to individuals who did not. Implications of these findings are discussed. (Contains 3 tables, 2 figures, and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A