Intrinsic Motivation

 

            Intrinsic motivation is an energizing of behavior that comes from within an individual, out of will and interest for the activity at hand.  No external rewards are required to incite the intrinsically motivated person into action. The reward is the behavior itself.  Logically, this seems like an ideal, for people to act as “origins” of their behavior rather than “pawns” (deCharms, 1968).  However, it is certainly not the case that every real world behavior stems from an intrinsic energy.

            Schools are of particular interest when it comes to intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, particularly because of the different outcomes that researchers have shown to result from intrinsic motivation: more interest, excitement, confidence, enhanced performance, persistence, creativity, self-esteem and general well-being (In Ryan and Deci, 2000: Deci and Ryan, 1991; Sheldon, Ryan, Rawsthore, Ilardi 1997; Deci and Ryan, 1995; Ryan, Deci and Grolnick, 1995). Why do some students pursue academic learning for its own sake while others are motivated by external factors?  Over the years, several theorists have offered insights into the phenomenon through their conceptions of intrinsic motivation.  

Self-Determination Theory

One of the most widely cited contemporary theories of intrinsic motivation is Self-Determination Theory, developed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan.   SDT (1975) states that humans have three innate psychological needs:  a need to feel competent, a need to feel related and a need to feel autonomous.  Intrinsic motivation develops out of the support of these needs.  The authors go on to say that when people feel competent, autonomous and self-determined, they will freely seek what interests them.  Under what conditions, then, would a person freely seek to engage in academic endeavors?  According to the authors, intrinsically motivated learning can only occur when an individual feels freedom to make choices in the process, when the activity is challenging, and when the challenge can be conquered.   Whether these conditions are met depends on the person as well as the environment.  After all, different circumstances afford different perceptions. 

The authors stipulate that individuals can perceive specific events as informational (preserving a sense of competence and freedom), controlling (conveying a pressure to think, feel or behave a certain way), or amotivating (conveying personal incompetence and a sense that particular outcomes are impossible to achieve).  Further, the environment in general can contain any mix of elements that could be defined as autonomy supportive, controlling or amotivating.  For example, a teacher may allow her students to choose the books they read for reports (autonomy supportive), yet remind them that they will be evaluated and should strive for high marks (controlling).  After the assignments are turned in, she could opt to grade on a curve, opening up the possibility of equal student efforts leading to differential outcomes (amotivating).   The ultimate effect of the person/environment fit depends on the saliency of each element to the individual.  If a person perceives his environment as informational and feels competent and autonomous, intrinsic motivation can be sustained and/or enhanced.  

Deci and Ryan do acknowledge that even when a school environment supports autonomy and competence, if a person is simply not interested in a particular learning activity, he will not be intrinsically motivated for engagement (2000).  Rather, he will be motivated by external factors like grades.  However, the authors do stipulate that external motivations can be internalized.  Despite his lack of interest, a person can still be self-determined if he can integrate the activity into his sense of self.  For example, a student may find balancing chemical equations uninteresting and therefore not be intrinsically motivated to complete homework problems.  However, if he can come to understand how such an activity can be valuable and important as a means of personal growth and skill enhancement (i.e., this will help me to understand deeper chemical concepts, this is a first step in that pharmacy career that I want) he will internalize the extrinsic motivation.   Through this process, the student can now approach the activity with a sense of will rather than pressure.   The authors explain that this shift in motivation can only occur when teachers respectfully acknowledge students’ feelings about the activity rather than try to scare, pressure or guilt them into compliance.  They add that teachers must also explain the reasons behind the activity’s importance, demonstrate how the activity relates to the students’ lives, and ensure that pupils have the necessary skills to succeed (2000).

            Why do some students pursue academic learning for its own sake while others are motivated by external factors?  In summary, according to Self-Determination Theory, intrinsic motivation is dependent on the interaction between different individual perceptions of the environment and different perceptions of the self.  Interests, amounts of challenge, appropriate skills, feelings of competence, and choice in the classroom are all things that can potentially affect the intrinsic/extrinsic balance

The Controversy with Rewards

            One of the hottest debates in the field of intrinsic motivation has focused on rewards and how they affect motivation in the classroom.  Because of the pervasive use of external incentives, both to incite achievement of certain standards and simply to promote task completion, research findings in this area are particularly critical for instructional practice.             

In Intrinsic Motivation (1975) Deci presented a variety of reward studies with variable results.  In two of his investigations involving college students, intrinsic motivation decreased when rewards were task contingent (each puzzle/headline completed earned another dollar)  (Deci, 1971, 1972 a), but not when they were task non-contingent (participants got money for showing up, regardless of how many puzzles they solved) (Deci, 1972 b).  In a similar study with children, when rewards were expected, intrinsic motivation decreased (Lepper et al., 1973), but when they were unexpected, intrinsic motivation was unaffected (Lepper et al., 1973).  Positive verbal feedback increased intrinsic motivation for college males (Deci, 1972a), but decreased it for females (Deci, Cascio & Krusell, 1975) while negative feedback (verbal and failure at task) decreased intrinsic motivation for both sexes (Deci, Cascio, & Krusell, 1973).   

In a more recent study by Ryan, Mims and Koestner (1983) an attempt was made to cover multiple comparisons in a single investigation.  College student participants were divided among three experimental groups:

1. informationally oriented performance-contingent, 2. control oriented performance-contingent and 3. task contingent.  The remaining participants were placed in three comparison groups: 1a. performance standard, no reward with informational positive feedback, 2a. performance standard, no reward with controlling positive feedback and 3a. no reward with no feedback.   Results showed lower intrinsic motivation for the activity in the performance-contingent reward groups relative to their respective feedback comparison groups.  Results also demonstrated that the informational reward group and informational feedback comparison group had higher levels of intrinsic motivation than their control oriented counterparts and the task-contingent (no feedback) reward group.  A final point noted by the authors is that the no reward, no feedback group showed higher intrinsic motivation than the task contingent group and the control oriented performance-contingent reward group, but less than the two informational oriented groups.

Deci explains these variable findings through the notion that rewards, like other aspects of the classroom environment, convey both messages of competence information as well as elements of control.  The outcome of a reward on intrinsic motivation depends on which message is more salient to the recipient.  The type of reward and the mode of delivery can influence saliency.  If a person feels pressured, incompetent or as though she is engaging in a behavior not for her own reasons, but for something external (i.e. a tangible rewards, parental/teacher expectations) her intrinsic motivation for that activity will decrease.  If, however, the element of control is very low in the reward delivery and the competence feedback of the reward is high, intrinsic motivation may increase as a result. 

Deci, of course is just one of the many contributors to the body of rewards research.  Eisenberger, Rhoades and Cameron (1999), in a very recent study, found rewards in performance-contingent situations led to increases in intrinsic motivation.  Their investigation involved college students engaged in a hidden differences activity, not unlike the Ryan et. al. study (1983).  Participants were divided among four conditions: 1.normative performance standard (excellence is finding more differences than 80% of classmates), nonreward, positive verbal feedback; 2.absolute performance standard (excellence is finding four differences), nonreward, positive verbal feedback; 3.normative performance standard, reward, positive verbal feedback; and 4. absolute performance standard, reward, positive verbal feedback.   Results showed that both rewarded conditions had higher measures of intrinsic motivation than their respective nonrewarded comparisons groups.  Further, these differences in motivation were due to higher perceptions of self-determination.  These results contradict those found in the Ryan et. al. study (1983) and the idea that rewards would increase self-determination runs counter to Deci and Ryan’s theory.

The rationale that Eisenberger, Rhoades and Cameron use to explain their findings is strikingly different from that of Deci and Ryan.  They posit that rewards are not controlling and will actually increase perceived self-determination.  The authors reason that performance-contingent rewards convey that the rewarding body has little control over the rewardee’s performance and that the recipient has the freedom to decline the reward.   It is important to note, however, that in the classroom or on the job, opting not to pursue the reward could lead to academic failure or employment termination.

Deci and Ryan have countered that Eisenberger et. al. err in their conception of self-determination, confusing locus of causality with locus of control.  In Deci and Ryan’s view it is locus of causality—belief that you initiated your own behavior out of interest or personal importance--that is at the center of self-determination and intrinsic motivation.   The authors explain that the presentation of a performance-contingent reward, regardless of whether you act to obtain it or not, tends to shift the reason for behaving outside of you—I did this because I wanted the reward or I didn’t, not because this behavior is consistent with my self values or because this behavior is fun. 

Deci and Ryan acknowledge that an internal locus of control--belief that a contingency exists and that you are capable of achieving the contingent outcome—can lead to motivation.  However, it’s the locus of causality that determines whether you are self-determined and whether the resulting motivation will be intrinsic.

With so many studies and variable results both sets of researchers have conducted meta-analyses to summarize the literature (Cameron and Pierce, 1994; Deci and Ryan, 1999; Cameron, Banko and Pierce, 2001).  However, there is still major debate about whether the conclusions drawn are accurate (Eisenberger, Pierce and Cameron, 1999; Deci and Ryan, 1999; Deci, Koestner and Ryan, 2001).   Plus, most experiments were designed so that all participants in the rewarded condition actually received a reward.  What happens to the intrinsic motivation of the individuals who, in real life, do not achieve the reward?  As the argument continues, it is difficult to clearly ascertain which reward situations truly undermine intrinsic motivation to learn.

Practicality of Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom

Can intrinsic motivation really predominate in a real-world classroom?  Jere Brophy maintains that intrinsic motivation is “ideal but unattainable as an all-day everyday motivational state” (Brophy, 1998).  He points out that children do not have a choice in whether to attend school until at least adolescence.  From the beginning, then, a portion of their autonomy is thwarted.  What’s more, many learning activities are simply not interesting to everyone.   

Brophy does make suggestions for classroom operation that tend to follow many of the prescription made by Deci and Ryan: allow students to make choices, ensure optimal challenge, encourage collaboration and adapt activities to students’ interests.  On the topic of rewards, he advises delivery modes that make the control element less salient such as presenting rewards unexpectedly as a gesture of appreciation rather than a tool of manipulation.  However, he also suggests performance-contingent rewards as a way to bolster intrinsic motivation. 

Deci and Ryan have acknowledged that any classroom will be filled with different children, each with different motivational orientations.  The ideal to shoot for in their minds is not purely intrinsic motivation, but intrinsic motivation combined with more self-determined forms of extrinsic motivation.

Conclusion:

This is just a small glance into the field of intrinsic motivation.  Many researchers have contributed to the pool of ideas in the name of understanding what drives students into action.  Many will continue to add insights in the name of enhancing the school experience.  

 

References

 

 

Brophy, J. (1998).  Motivating students to learn.  Boston: McGraw Hill.

 

Cameron, J., Banko, K.M., Pierce, W.D.  (2001).  Pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: The myth continues. Behavior Analyst Special Issue, 24(1), 1-44.

 

Cameron, J., Pierce, W.D. (1994).  Reinforcement, reward and intrinsic motivation: a meta-analysis.  Review of Educational Research, 64, 363-423.

 

deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: the internal affective determinants of behavior.  New York: Academic Press.

 

Deci, E.L. (1975).  Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum Press.

 

Deci, E.L., Koestner, R., Ryan, R.M.  (1999).  A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation.  Psychological Bulletin, 125(6), 627-668.

 

Deci, E.L, Koestner, R., Ryan, R.M, Cameron, J.  (2001).  Extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation in education: Reconsidered once again: Comment/Reply.  Review of Educational Research, 71(1), 1-51.

 

Deci, E.L. & Ryan, R. M. (1985).  Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior.  New York: Plenum Press.

 

Eisenberger, R., Pierce, W. D., Cameron, J.  (1999).  Effects of reward on intrinsic motivation—negative, neutral and positive: comment on Deci, Koestner, and Ryan (1999).  Psychological Bulletin, 125(6), 677-691.

 

Eisenberger, R., Rhoades, L., Cameron, J.  (1999).  Does pay for performance increase or decrease perceived self-determination and intrinsic motivation?  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(5), 1026-1040.

 

Graham, S., Weiner, B.  (1996). Theories and principles of motivation.  In David C. Berliner and Robert C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of Educational Psychology.  New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan.

 

Ryan, R. M., Deci, E.L.  (2000).  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions.  Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.

 

Ryan, R.M., Deci, E. L.   (2000).  Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being.  American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.

 

Ryan, R. M., Deci, E.L. (1996).  When paradigms clash: comments on Cameron and Pierce’s claim that rewards do not undermine intrinsic motivation.  Review of Educational Research, 66(1), 33-38.

 

Ryan, R.M., Mims, V., Koestner, R.  (1983).  Relation of reward contingency and interpersonal context to intrinsic motivation: a review and test using cognitive evaluation theory.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(4), 736-750.

 

Current Research: Survey of Three Journals

Journal of Educational Psychology:

Summary:

What aspects of intrinsic motivation are being investigated right now?  From a survey of current publications in the Journal of Educational Psychology, studies concerning autonomy support, creation of flow and continuity of intrinsic motivation emerged. 

 

Several articles focused on how autonomy support in the classroom context, in contrast to control affects intrinsic motivation.  For example Cordova and Lepper (1996) examined contextualization, personalization and provision of choices on a computer math game; Reeve, Bolt and Cai (1999) looked at autonomy supportive and controlling styles of teaching; and Church, Elliot, and Gable (2001) investigated the classroom environment’s influence on goal adoption and subsequent effect on intrinsic motivation.   Results showed positive academic outcomes such as increased learning and higher levels of intrinsic motivation in the more autonomous environments.

 

Another investigation by Turner, Cox, DiCintio, Meyer, Logan and Thomas (1998), based in Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory, examined the skill/challenge balance in teaching practices of high and low involvement classrooms.  Results demonstrated the need for appropriate challenge and autonomy support in the creation of a deep connection between the students and their topics of study.

 

 Finally, an article by Gottfried, Fleming and Gottfried (2001) investigated the continuity of academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence using longitudinal study.  Results indicated that intrinsic motivation is stable and steadily declines as we age.  These findings make salient the need for early intervention in the enhancement of intrinsic motivation to learn.

 

Journal of Educational Psychology Abstracts and References:      

 

Cordova, D.L, Lepper, M.R.  (1996).  Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(4), 715-730.

 Abstract: This experiment examined the effects on the learning process of 3 complementary strategies—contextualization, personalization, and provisions of choices—for enhancing students’ intrinsic motivation.  Elementary school children in 1 control and 4 experimental conditions worked with educational computer activities designed to teach arithmetical order-of-operations rules.  In the control condition, this material was presented abstractly.  In the experimental conditions, identical material was presented in meaningful and appealing learning contexts, in either generic or individually personalized form.  Half of the students in each group were also offered choices concerning instructionally incidental aspects of the learning contexts; the remainder were not.  Contextualization, personalization and choice all produced dramatic increases, not only in students’ motivation but also in their depth of engagement in learning, the amount they learned in a fixed time period, and their perceived competence and levels of aspiration.

 

Church, M. A., Elliot, A. J., Gable, S. L. (2001).  Perceptions of classroom environment, achievement goals, and achievement outcomes.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 43-54.

Abstract: Two studies examined the relationship between undergraduates'

perceptions of their classroom environment, their adoption of achievement goals for the course, and their graded performance and intrinsic motivation. Results revealed a distinct antecedent profile for each goal in the trichotomous framework: Mastery goals were linked to the presence of lecture engagement and the absence of an evaluation focus and harsh evaluation, performance-approach goals were linked to the presence evaluation focus, and performance-avoidance goals were linked to the presence of evaluation focus and harsh evaluation. When the perceived classroom environment and achievement goal variables were tested together as predictors of graded performance and intrinsic motivation, the results clearly demonstrated that the influence of the perceived classroom environment on these outcomes measures was indirect; the perceived classroom environment influenced achievement goal adoption, and achievement goal adoption, in turn, directly influenced graded performance and intrinsic motivation.

 

Gottfried, A.E., Fleming, J.S, Gottfried, A.W.  (2001).  Continuity of academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence: a longitudinal study.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 3-13.

Abstract: Two aspects of continuity, stability of individual differences and means, were examined in a longitudinal study from the middle elementary through the high school years. Two hypotheses regarding individual difference stability were supported with structural equation modeling in both the general-verbal and math domains: (a) Academic intrinsic motivation is a stable construct throughout these years, and (b) with advancement in age, academic intrinsic motivation becomes increasingly stable. A third hypothesis, that the mean level of academic intrinsic motivation declines over these ages, also was supported, and significant linear trends were obtained, but it was also found to be modified by particular subject areas, with math showing the greatest decline and social studies showing no significant change. The combination of these 2 aspects of continuity places those with low motivation early in their schooling particularly at risk.

 

Guthrie, J.T., Wigfield, A, VonSecker, C.  (2000).  Effects of integrated instruction on motivation and strategy use in reading.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(2), 331-341.

Abstract: Effects of instructional context on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation have been examined with a variety of studies. This quasi experiment compared students receiving an instructional intervention designed to increase intrinsic motivation with students receiving traditional instruction. Concept-oriented reading instruction (CORI) integrated reading and language arts with science inquiry. It emphasized learning goals, real-world interaction (hands-on science activities), competence support (strategy instruction), autonomy support (self-directed learning), and collaboration. Traditional classrooms had the same content objectives and comparable teachers but different pedagogy. Children in CORI classrooms scored higher on motivation than did children in traditional classrooms, with effect sizes of 1.94 for curiosity and 1.71 for strategy use. Grade-level differences were found for recognition and competition. The results show that classroom contexts can be constructed to influence motivational outcomes positively

 

Reeve, J., Bolt, E, Cai, Y.  (1999).  Autonomy-supportive teachers: how they teach and motivate students.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(3), 537-548.

Abstract: The authors examined motivating style in terms of a teacher's

disposition to control students or support their autonomy. In Study 1, 4 independent samples of preservice teachers completed the Problems in Schools (PS) questionnaire so the authors could critically evaluate the instrument to assess motivating style as an individual difference characteristic. In Study 2, preservice teachers taught a 10-min instructional episode as raters judged their language and style. In Study 3, elementary and high school teachers self-reported a recent attempt to teach and motivate one of their students. Compared with their controlling counterparts, autonomy-supportive teachers showed a distinctive motivating style as measured by their conversational behaviors, interpersonal style, and attempts to support students' intrinsic motivational and internalization processes.

 

Sweet, A.P., Guthrie, J.T.  (1998).  Teacher perceptions and student reading motivation.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(2), 210-223.

Abstract: Teacher perceptions of students' intrinsic motivation for reading were examined from the perspective of self-determination development and reading achievement. A sample of 68 teachers from randomly selected elementary schools that were representative of county characteristics rated 374 students on 6 aspects of motivation for reading, including individual, topical, activity-based, autonomy-supported, socially supported, and writing-related aspects. Quantitative and qualitative results showed that teachers perceived higher achievers to be relatively higher in intrinsic reading motivation (individual and topical) than in extrinsic reading motivation (activity-based and autonomy-supported). In contrast, teachers perceived lower achievers to be relatively more motivated by extrinsic contextual factors than by intrinsic factors. Teachers appear to possess implicit theories that are in accord with the self-determination perspective on the development of motivation and reading achievement.

 

Turner, J.C., Cox, K.E, DiCintio, M., Meyer, D.K., Logan, C., Thomas, C.T.  (1998).  Creating Contexts for Involvement in Mathematics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(4), 730-745.

Abstract: Students' (21 girls, 21 boys) self-reports of involvement in mathematics were related to instructional strategies observed in their upper-elementary classrooms. Students in high involvement classrooms reported challenges and skills as above average and matched, whereas students in low involvement classrooms reported skills as exceeding challenges. Students in high involvement classrooms also reported significantly more positive affect. Discourse analyses of instruction in high involvement classrooms revealed that teachers scaffolded instruction (i.e., negotiated understanding, transferred responsibility, and fostered intrinsic motivation). Instruction in low involvement classrooms was characterized by Initiation-Response-Evaluation sequences, emphasis on procedures, and extrinsic motivation strategies. Results imply that involvement can be socially constructed through whole class instruction and that researchers should give more attention to measuring and understanding situated motivation.

 

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:

Summary:

A recent survey of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed a common focus on autonomy support, although the concept was examined in very different contexts for each article.  One article looked at perceptions of autonomy support in the classroom, how this influenced intrinsic/extrinsic motivation and how motivational orientation then mediated responses to uncontrollable events (Boggiano, 1998). Another article examined how self-determination mediated intrinsic motivation when participants received performance contingent rewards (Eisenberger, Rhoades, and Cameron, 1999) --See pages 4-8 for a more detailed description of the rewards debate.  The final article examined the role of culture and the provision of choice.

 

The article by Iyengar and Lepper (1999) is particularly striking because it questions whether the need for autonomy, posited by Self-Determination Theory to be a necessary component in intrinsic motivation, is really a universal human need.  Using Asian-American and Anglo-American school children the authors investigated how intrinsic motivation varied for an anagram activity (Study 1) and computer game (study 2).  Participants were divided among three conditions: personal choice, out-group member choice (experimenter and 3rd graders from another school), and in-group member choice (mother and classmates).  The results of both studies showed that the Anglo-American children were most intrinsically motivated in the personal choice condition while Asian-American children showed the highest intrinsic motivation in the in-group choice conditions.  

 

The authors reason that Asian individuals tend to have a more interdependent sense of self so that being able to exercise choice is not as important as maintaining a connection with a valued group.  They suggest that many theories of motivation may need modification to account for cultural differences. 

 

Deci explains that in this study, it is key to notice that intrinsic motivation was higher in the personal choice condition relative to the out-group choice condition for both sets of participants.  Therefore, the results do not negate Self-Determination Theory’s universal need for autonomy.  If there were no such need, the Asian-American participants would not have showed significant variation in intrinsic motivation when a stranger made selection for them.

 

In an attempt to deepen my understanding of these results and of the functioning of an interdependent self, I interviewed Bo Yan, an MSU graduate student from China.  I posed several questions to him including:

•Is the need for autonomy satisfied at a group level rather than an individual level?

•For people from interdependent cultures, what does the thought process look like as you are told that a valued in-group member has made a decision for you?

–Is it felt as a sacrifice gladly made because of the connectedness with the group that is affords?

–Does it not feel like a sacrifice at all?

–Does the will of the group become your will such that acting on your mother’s decision is as though you acted on your own?

 

He explained that young Chinese children have a deep trust for members of their culture, parents in particular.  They often do not wish nor feel able to make decisions on their own.  They interpret decisions made for them as informational rather than controlling.  The choice is felt as the best possible one because it is informed and comes from concern for well-being.  He did remark that the need to exercise personal choice, the need for autonomy, strengthens with age.  Perhaps, Iyengar and Lepper would have found different results with an older sample of Asian-Americans.

 

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology References and Abstracts:

 

Boggiano, A. K.  (1998). Maladaptive achievement patterns: a test of a diathesis-stress analysis of helplessness.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(6), 1681-1695.

Abstract: The present study tested the assumptions, derived from a

diathesis-stress model, that students' perceptions of autonomy-support in their

classroom produce a relatively intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic motivational approach to academic tasks and that this approach, in turn, predicts qualitatively different responses to uncontrollable events. It was further assumed that students' motivational orientation would be more reliable than attributional style or perceptions of competence in predicting achievement patterns, including performance level after failure, use of adaptive attributions, and overall achievement scores. Results supported these predictions and further demonstrated, in longitudinal analyses, that motivational orientation may contribute to the formation of perceptions of competence and attributional style in students.

 

Eisenberger, R., Rhoades, L., Cameron, J.  (1999).  Does pay for performance increase or decrease perceived self-determination and intrinsic motivation?  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77 (5), 1026-1040.

Abstract: Laboratory and field studies examined the relationships of reward for

high performance with perceived self-determination and intrinsic motivation. Study 1

found that pay for meeting a performance standard had positive effects on college

students' perceived self-determination and competence, expressed task enjoyment,

and free time spent performing the task. Furthermore, reward's incremental effect on

expressed task enjoyment was mediated by perceived self-determination and

competence. Study 2 established that perceived self-determination mediated positive

relationships between employees' performance-reward expectancy and perceived

organizational support, positive mood at work, and job performance. Study 3

demonstrated that performance-reward expectancy was positively related to

employees' expressed interest in daily job activities, with this relationship being

greater among employees having a high desire for control

 

Iyengar, S. S., Lepper M, R.  (1999).  Rethinking the value of choice: a cultural perspective on intrinsic motivation.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(3), 349-366.

Abstract: Conventional wisdom and decades of psychological research have

linked the provision of choice to increased levels of intrinsic motivation, greater

persistence, better performance, and higher satisfaction. This investigation examined the relevance and limitations of these findings for cultures in which individuals possess more interdependent models of the self. In 2 studies, personal choice generally enhanced motivation more for American independent selves than for Asian interdependent selves. In addition, Anglo American children showed less intrinsic motivation when choices were made for them by others than when they made their own choices, whether the others were authority figures or peers. In contrast, Asian American children proved most intrinsically motivated when choices were made for them by trusted authority figures or peers. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

 

Child Development:

Summary:

The two articles that I found were interesting because they examined contextual influences on intrinsic motivation other than the classroom itself.  Also, their focus was not on issues of autonomy or control, but rather on the shaping of personal interest in academics.  One article focused on peer groups as influencing a natural interest in school activities.  The other focused on the cognitive stimulation of the home environment and its effect on intrinsic motivation. 

 
Child Development References and Abstracts:

 

Gottfried, A. E, Fleming, J.S., Gottfried, A. W.   (1998).  Role of cognitively stimulating home environment in children’s academic intrinsic motivation: a longitudinal study.  Child Development, 69(5), 1448-1460.

Abstract: The short- and long-term, and direct and indirect, relations between

cognitively stimulating home environment and academic intrinsic motivation were

investigated in a longitudinal study from childhood through early adolescence.

Structural equations modeling was used to test the hypothesis that home environment

positively predicts academic intrinsic motivation over this period. It was also

hypothesized that home environmental processes would positively predict motivation

controlling for socioeconomic status (SES). When children were age 8, home

environment (comprising both direct observations and parent report) and SES were

measured. Academic intrinsic motivation was assessed at ages 9, 10, and 13. Results

supported the hypotheses. Home environment had statistically positive and significant,

direct and indirect paths to academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through early

adolescence, indicating both short- and long-term effects across these ages.

Moreover, home environment was significant above and beyond SES. The findings

revealed that children whose homes had a greater emphasis on learning opportunities

and activities were more academically intrinsically motivated

 

Ryan, A.  (2001).  The peer group as a context for the development of young adolescent motivation and achievement.   Child Development, 72 (4), 1135-1150.

Abstract: Investigated the peer group as a context for the socialization of young adolescents'

motivation and achievement in school. Social network analysis was used to identify

peer groups of adolescents in middle school whose members regularly interacted with

each other (N = 331). Actual reports from these peer group members were used to

assess peer group characteristics. Multilevel analyses indicated that peer groups did

socialize some academic characteristics, controlling for selection factors. Students'

peer group context in the fall predicted changes in their liking and enjoyment of school

(intrinsic value) and their achievement over the school year. Students' peer group

context was unrelated to changes in their beliefs about the importance of school (utility

value) or expectancies for success over the school year

 

Summary of interviews:

 

Over the course of the semester I met with three professors and one graduate student in an attempt to familiarize myself with the field of intrinsic motivation and to clarify various concerns that arose as I involved myself with the literature.

 

Ellen Altermatt directed me toward helpful resources in the field.  She continually provided progress feedback.  In particular she informed my understanding of the issues in the Deci and Ryan vs. Cameron and Pierce rewards debate.

Jere Brophy provided me with his own text and conveyed concerns about the practicality of Self-Determination Theory and intrinsic motivation in the classroom.

Edward Deci clarified the difference between locus of control and locus of causality, gave me a historical overview of Self-Determination Theory, and discussed the results of Iyengar and Lepper (1999).

Bo Yan discussed what it means to be from and interdependent culture and provided input on how to interpret the results of the Iyengar and Lepper study (1999).

 

 

Annotated List:

 

a. Twenty Influential Works:

 

Books:

 

1. Brophy, J. (1998).  Motivating students to learn.  Boston: McGraw Hill.

The book is based on a review and synthesis of the literature with an eye toward teachers.  It is intended to provide practical teaching strategies that motivate student learning. 

 

2. deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: the internal affective determinants of behavior.  New York: Academic Press.

This book helped to show people as active agents in the environment and to further the shift in the field of motivation away from mechanistic theories. The author proposed that humans need to feel that they are the origins of their behavior (internal locus of causality) rather than pawns.  He also hypothesized that rewards would decrease intrinsic motivation, sparking ongoing research and debate.

 

3.  & 4. Deci, E.L. (1975).  Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum Press.

Deci, E.L. & Ryan, R. M. (1985).  Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior.  New York: Plenum Press.

These two books explain Self-Determination Theory, the authors’ conceptions of intrinsic motivation and how the theory evolved.  Substantiating research on facilitating and undermining intrinsic motivation is presented.

 

5. Csikszentmihalyi, M.  (1988). Optimal Experience.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

The book explains the author’s ideas on the experience of flow and how flow works in various contexts: work, leisure, and family.

 
 6. Sansone, C., Harackiewicz, J.M.  (2000).  Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance.  San Diego: Academic Press, Inc.

The book deals with the debate about extrinsic incentives and their effects on intrinsic motivation.  It also discusses achievement goals and their influence on motivation and school performance.

 
Articles

 

7. Cameron, J., Banko, K.M., Pierce, W.D.  (2001).  Pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: The myth continues. Behavior Analyst Special Issue, 24(1), 1-44.

Abstract: Seeks to resolve differences in previous meta-analytic findings and to provide a meta-analysis of rewards and intrinsic motivation that permits tests of competing theoretical explanations. Results suggest that in general, rewards are not harmful to motivation to perform a task. Rewards given for low-interest tasks enhance free-choice intrinsic motivation. On high-interest tasks, verbal rewards produce positive effects on free-choice motivation and self-reported task interest. Negative effects are found on high-interest tasks when the rewards are tangible, expected (offered beforehand), and loosely tied to level of performance. When rewards are linked to level of performance, measures of intrinsic motivation increase or do not differ from a nonrewarded control group. Overall, the pattern of results indicates that reward contingencies do not have pervasive negative effects on intrinsic motivation. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are addressed. Tables of various data from studies used in this meta-analysis are appended.

 

8. Church, M. A., Elliot, A. J., Gable, S. L. (2001).  Perceptions of classroom environment, achievement goals, and achievement outcomes.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 43-54.

Abstract: Two studies examined the relationship between undergraduates'

perceptions of their classroom environment, their adoption of achievement goals for the course, and their graded performance and intrinsic motivation. Results revealed a distinct antecedent profile for each goal in the trichotomous framework: Mastery goals were linked to the presence of lecture engagement and the absence of an evaluation focus and harsh evaluation, performance-approach goals were linked to the presence evaluation focus, and performance-avoidance goals were linked to the presence of evaluation focus and harsh evaluation. When the perceived classroom environment and achievement goal variables were tested together as predictors of graded performance and intrinsic motivation, the results clearly demonstrated that the influence of the perceived classroom environment on these outcomes measures was indirect; the perceived classroom environment influenced achievement goal adoption, and achievement goal adoption, in turn, directly influenced graded performance and intrinsic motivation.

 

9. Cordova, D.L, Lepper, M.R.  (1996).  Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(4), 715-730.

 Abstract: This experiment examined the effects on the learning process of 3 complementary strategies—contextualization, personalization, and provisions of choices—for enhancing students’ intrinsic motivation.  Elementary school children in 1 control and 4 experimental conditions worked with educational computer activities designed to teach arithmetical order-of-operations rules.  In the control condition, this material was presented abstractly.  In the experimental conditions, identical material was presented in meaningful and appealing learning contexts, in either generic or individually personalized form.  Half of the students in each group were also offered choices concerning instructionally incidental aspects of the learning contexts; the remainder were not.  Contextualization, personalization and choice all produced dramatic increases, not only in students’ motivation but also in their depth of engagement in learning, the amount they learned in a fixed time period, and their perceived competence and levels of aspiration.

 

10. Deci, E.L, Koestner, R., Ryan, R.M, Cameron, Judy.  (2001).  Extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation in education: Reconsidered once again: Comment/Reply.  Review of Educational Research, 71(1), 1-51.

Abstract and Headnote: The finding that extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation has been highly controversial since it first appeared (Deci, 1971). A meta-analysis published in this journal (Cameron & Pierce, 1994) concluded that the undermining effect was minimal and largely inconsequential for educational policy.  The finding that extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation has been highly controversial since it first appeared (Deci, 1971). A meta-analysis published in this journal (Cameron & Pierce, 1994) concluded that the undermining effect was minimal and largely inconsequential for educational policy. However, a more recent meta-analysis (Deci, Koestner, & Ryan, 1999) showed that the Cameron and Pierce meta-analysis was seriously flawed and that its conclusions were incorrect. This article briefly reviews the results of the more recent meta-analysis, which showed that tangible rewards do indeed have a substantial undermining effect. The meta-analysis provided strong support for cognitive evaluation theory (Deci & Ryan, 1980), which Cameron and Pierce had advocated abandoning. The results are briefly discussed in terms of their relevance for educational practice.

 

11. Deci, E.L., Speigel, N.H., Ryan, R.M., Koestner, R., Kauffman, M. (1982).  Effects of Performance Standards on Teaching Styles: Behavior of Controlling Teachers.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 74 (6), 852-859.

Abstract: Previous research has shown that when teachers are oriented toward

controlling rather than supporting autonomy in their students, the students display

lowered intrinsic motivation and self-esteem. The present study explored conditions

that lead teachers (40 undergraduates) to be more controlling- vs more

autonomy-oriented with students. Findings indicate that impressing upon teachers that

they are responsible for their students' performing up to standards leads them to be

more controlling than teachers who were told that there were no performance

standards for their students' learning. Teachers in the former condition talked more,

were more critical of the students, gave more commands, and allowed less choice and

autonomy.

 

12. Gottfried, A.E., Fleming, J.S, Gottfried, A.W.  (2001).  Continuity of academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence: a longitudinal study.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 3-13.

Abstract: Two aspects of continuity, stability of individual differences and means, were examined in a longitudinal study from the middle elementary through the high school years. Two hypotheses regarding individual difference stability were supported with structural equation modeling in both the general-verbal and math domains: (a) Academic intrinsic motivation is a stable construct throughout these years, and (b) with advancement in age, academic intrinsic motivation becomes increasingly stable. A third hypothesis, that the mean level of academic intrinsic motivation declines over these ages, also was supported, and significant linear trends were obtained, but it was also found to be modified by particular subject areas, with math showing the greatest decline and social studies showing no significant change. The combination of these 2 aspects of continuity places those with low motivation early in their schooling particularly at risk.

 

13. Gottfried, A. E, Fleming, J.S., Gottfried, A. W.   (1998).  Role of cognitively stimulating home environment in children’s academic intrinsic motivation: a longitudinal study.  Child Development, 69(5), 1448-1460.

Abstract: The short- and long-term, and direct and indirect, relations between

cognitively stimulating home environment and academic intrinsic motivation were

investigated in a longitudinal study from childhood through early adolescence.

Structural equations modeling was used to test the hypothesis that home environment

positively predicts academic intrinsic motivation over this period. It was also

hypothesized that home environmental processes would positively predict motivation

controlling for socioeconomic status (SES). When children were age 8, home

environment (comprising both direct observations and parent report) and SES were

measured. Academic intrinsic motivation was assessed at ages 9, 10, and 13. Results

supported the hypotheses. Home environment had statistically positive and significant,

direct and indirect paths to academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through early

adolescence, indicating both short- and long-term effects across these ages.

Moreover, home environment was significant above and beyond SES. The findings

revealed that children whose homes had a greater emphasis on learning opportunities

and activities were more academically intrinsically motivated

 

14. Hodgins, H. Koestner, R., Duncan, N. (1996).  On the compatibility of autonomy and relatedness.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(3), 227-237.

Abstract: Explored the relation of autonomy to naturally occurring social interaction in 2 studies

using a daily recording methodology. It was expected that autonomous functioning, as

measured by a general causality orientations scale, would be related to positive social

experience. Study 1 examined 67 undergraduates' interactions with parents; Study 2

examined interactions across all relationships for 86 summer students (aged 18-44

yrs). Both studies showed that autonomy was significantly related to more positive and

honest naturally occurring interaction, whereas control related to more defensive

functioning.

 

 

15. Iyengar, S. S., Lepper M, R.  (1999).  Rethinking the value of choice: a cultural perspective on intrinsic motivation.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(3), 349-366.

Abstract: Conventional wisdom and decades of psychological research have

linked the provision of choice to increased levels of intrinsic motivation, greater

persistence, better performance, and higher satisfaction. This investigation examined the relevance and limitations of these findings for cultures in which individuals possess more interdependent models of the self. In 2 studies, personal choice generally enhanced motivation more for American independent selves than for Asian interdependent selves. In addition, Anglo American children showed less intrinsic motivation when choices were made for them by others than when they made their own choices, whether the others were authority figures or peers. In contrast, Asian American children proved most intrinsically motivated when choices were made for them by trusted authority figures or peers. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

 

16. Reeve, J., Bolt, E, Cai, Y.  (1999).  Autonomy-supportive teachers: how they teach and motivate students.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(3), 537-548.

Abstract: The authors examined motivating style in terms of a teacher's

disposition to control students or support their autonomy. In Study 1, 4 independent samples of preservice teachers completed the Problems in Schools (PS) questionnaire so the authors could critically evaluate the instrument to assess motivating style as an individual difference characteristic. In Study 2, preservice teachers taught a 10-min instructional episode as raters judged their language and style. In Study 3, elementary and high school teachers self-reported a recent attempt to teach and motivate one of their students. Compared with their controlling counterparts, autonomy-supportive teachers showed a distinctive motivating style as measured by their conversational behaviors, interpersonal style, and attempts to support students' intrinsic motivational and internalization processes.

 

17.  Ryan, R.M., Deci, E. L.   (2000).  Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being.  American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.

Abstract: Human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive

and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research guided by self-determination theory has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development. Specifically, factors have been examined that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the postulate of three innate psychological needs--competence, autonomy, and relatedness--which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being. Also considered is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as health care, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy.

 

18. Ryan, R. M., Deci, E.L.  (2000).  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions.  Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.

Abstract: Intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation have been widely studied, and the distinction between them has shed important light on both developmental and educational practices. In this review, the authors revisit the classic definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in light of contemporary research and theory. Intrinsic motivation remains an important construct, reflecting the natural human propensity to learn and assimilate. However, extrinsic motivation is argued to vary considerably in its relative autonomy and thus can either reflect external control or true self-regulation. The relations of both classes of motives to basic human needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are discussed.

 

19. Ryan, R.M., Mims, V., Koestner, R.  (1983).  Relation of reward contingency and interpersonal context to intrinsic motivation: a review and test using cognitive evaluation theory.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(4), 736-750.

Abstract: Reviews recent experimental literature on reward contingency effects on

intrinsic motivation. Agreement emerges among investigators for most contingency

effects when experimental procedures use standard terminology. However, some

discrepancies are apparent, especially with respect to performance-contingent effects

that both increased and decreased intrinsic motivation relative to task-contingent

effects. These discrepancies are discussed in terms of cognitive evaluation theory (E.

L. Deci and R. M. Ryan, 1980). An integration of the various effects was tested using

96 college students working on a puzzle-solving activity for whom various reward

conditions were in effect. Results of the study and review suggest that it is the relative

salience of controlling and informational aspects of rewards that mediate the

contingency effects. The importance of the interpersonal context of reward

administration for the facilitation or undermining of intrinsic motivation is underscored.

 

20. White, R.W. (1959).  Motivation reconsidered: the concept of competence.  Psychological Review, 66, 297-333.

Abstract: Theories of motivation built upon primary drives cannot account for playful

and exploratory behavior. The new motivational concept of "competence" is introduced

indicating the biological significance of such behavior. It furthers the learning process

of effective interaction with the environment. While the purpose is not known to animal

or child, an intrinsic need to deal with the environment seems to exist and satisfaction

("the feeling of efficacy") is derived from it.

 

b. Ten Influential People:   

   

1& 2 Edward Deci and Richard Ryan are professors at the University of Rochester.  They developed Self Determination Theory, one of the most widely cited theories of intrinsic motivation.  They have worked to link their theory with education, sports, business, health care, parenting and mental health.

 

3. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a professor at the University of Chicago.  He   developed Flow Theory, conceptualizing the subjective experience of intrinsic motivation and the conditions that support it (For more detail see Historical Overview).

 

4. Susan Harter is a professor at the University of Denver.  She has refined a model of Effectance Theory, an enhancement of White’s (1959) ideas.  She also developed popular scales measuring intrinsic motivation. (For more detail see Historical Overview)

 

5 & 6. Judy Cameron and David Pierce are professors at the University of Alberta.  Their work includes an examination of the effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation.  They reason, by way of their General Interest Theory, that performance contingent rewards bolster a recipient’s sense of self-determination. 

 

7. Mark Lepper is a professor at Stanford University.  His contributions to the literature include investigations dealing with extrinsic incentives as well as studies on choice.

 

8. Adele Eskeles Gottfried is a professor at California State University, Northridge.  Much of her work has focused on children’s academic intrinsic motivation.

 

9. Judith Harackiewicz is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work investigates how performance evaluation and goal setting influences intrinsic interest.

 

10. Johnmarshall Reeve is an associate professor at the University of Iowa.  Among other things, he has looked at autonomy support in the classroom and competition and intrinsic motivation.

 

c. Six Important ideas:

 

1.     Intrinsic motivation means being moved to act because of the inherent satisfaction in the behavior itself.  The focus is on the experience of the action rather than the consequences that may immediately follow.

2.     Intrinsic motivation stems from the support of innate needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness.  When these needs are thwarted by external controls/manipulations and negative feedback, intrinsic motivation will be undermined. 

3.     As an individual interacts with the world, how he perceives a situation is key in whether his psychological needs and interests are supported.  People can develop general orientations in which they may predominately tend to experience the world as informational (providing meaningful feedback and choice), controlling (pressuring to think, feel, behave a particular way), or amotivating (conveying signs that you cannot impact what happens to you). 

4.     Academic intrinsic motivation leads to beneficial learning outcomes such as deeper understanding, persistence and creativity.

5.     Rewards and praises delivered in the classroom may undermine intrinsic motivation.  Rewards tend to make individuals feel that the purpose of their behavior is not it’s inherent enjoyment but rather its instrumentality.

6.     Even in supportive environments that offer meaningful feedback and choice, intrinsic can not always move people.  Individuals must also have an interest in the activity.

 

d. Six Important studies:

 

In my opinion, any disciplined inquiry is important.  The following are the investigations that I found to be the most interesting in my exploration of the field of intrinsic motivation.

Please see 20 Influential Written Works (a.) for abstracts

 

Cameron, J., Banko, K.M., Pierce, W.D.  (2001).  Pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: The myth continues. Behavior Analyst Special Issue, 24(1), 1-44.

 

Cordova, D.L, Lepper, M.R.  (1996).  Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: beneficial effects of contextualization, personalization, and choice.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(4), 715-730.

 

Deci, E.L., Koestner, R., Ryan, R.M.  (1999).  A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation.  Psychological Bulletin, 125(6), 627-668.

 

Deci, E.L., Speigel, N.H., Ryan, R.M., Koestner, R., Kauffman, M. (1982).  Effects of Performance Standards on Teaching Styles: Behavior of Controlling Teachers.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 74 (6), 852-859.

 

Gottfried, A.E., Fleming, J.S, Gottfried, A.W.  (2001).  Continuity of academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence: a longitudinal study.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 3-13.

 

Iyengar, S. S., Lepper M, R.  (1999).  Rethinking the value of choice: a cultural perspective on intrinsic motivation.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(3), 349-366.

 

 

e. Six Major Journals:

 

1.     The Journal of Educational Psychology publishes original psychological research related to education.  Foci can range from early childhood through late adulthood.  According to the APA description, the journal covers scholarship on learning, cognition, instruction, motivation, social issues, emotion, development, special populations and individual differences in teachers and learners.

2.     The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology publishes original works in personality and social psychology.  Generally it contains empirical reports, but may also include theoretical, methodological, and review papers.  

3.     Child Development is the main journal associated with the Society for Research in Child Development.  It publishes empirical and theoretical papers.  All articles center around issues of child development, but may arise from many different disciplines.

4.     Developmental Psychology publishes articles pertaining to issues of human development and growth across the life span.  Generally, articles are empirical, but occasionally reviews, theory and policy papers are included.

5.     Psychological Bulletin, according to APA description, presents evaluative and integrative reviews and interpretations of issues in psychology.  It targets psychologists and allied behavioral scientists. 

6.     Review of Educational Research is associated with the American Educational Research Association and publishes evaluative and integrative reviews of research pertaining to education.  Investigations from any discipline may be submitted, provided that the work impacts the field education.

 

 

 

f. 4 Research methodologies: 

 

Paper and pencil self-report techniques are often used to measure intrinsic motivation.   Some examples follow:

  1. Questionnaires that address issues such as liking and curiosity can be good windows into intrinsic motivation.  An example of a measure used is the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (Gottfried, 1986).
  2. The Harter scale (Harter, 1981) measures intrinsic motivation verses extrinsic motivation toward learning and mastery in the classroom.  The instrument includes five dimensions: preference for challenge vs. preference for easy work, curiosity/interest vs. teacher approval, independent mastery attempts vs. dependence on the teacher, independent judgment vs. reliance on the teachers’ judgment and internal vs. external criteria for success and failure.  Each item is scored from 1 to 4, with 1 indicating maximum extrinsic motivation and 4 indicating maximum intrinsic motivation.
  3. The Problems in Schools Questionnaire assesses teacher motivational style (Deci, Schwartz, Sheinman, Ryan, 1981).  Eight vignettes are given describing motivation-related problems children encounter in school and 4 ways to solve the problem.   Each of the four solutions that a teacher might choose represents a continuum from highly controlling to highly autonomy supportive.

 

Time spent on a predetermined intrinsically motivating task during a free choice period has often been used as a measure of intrinsic motivation.  This measure is examined after an experimental manipulation such as a reward or provision of choice:

     4.   Lab Based Experiment:

Example:  

Deci, E.L. (1972).  Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic reinforcement and inequity.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 22, 113-120.

 

Participants were given a puzzle activity.  The experimental group received a $ 1 for each puzzle that they successfully completed in the time period while the control group got no reward or feedback.  The experimenter then measured intrinsic motivation according to free time spent on the puzzle activity after experience with or without money.

 

     5.   Field Based Experiment

Example:

Deci, E.L.   (1971).  Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18, 105-115

 

Participants were composed of two staffs of headline writers in a real college newspaper office.  One group was paid $.50 for each headline they wrote for a period of time, and the other as not.  Payment in the experimental group was ceased and subsequent time spent writing was measured for assessment of effects on intrinsic motivation.

 

g. Four Contextual Influences:

 

  1. Historically the sixties and seventies were periods that emphasized potentialities, freedom and self-realization.  The development of intrinsic motivation theories fits well into this climate. 
  2. The sixties also marked the beginning of a shift away from S-R to explain learning and a greater focus on cognition, setting the stage for current theories of intrinsic motivation.  Chomsky’s criticism that operant conditioning could not explain language acquisition helped to spark the cognitive revolution.  
  3. Computers in the classroom and online learning communities have opened doors for bolstering choice and interest in the classroom.  This support can positively impact motivation to learn.
  4. The Internet has revolutionized communication.  Willing scholars, practitioners and lay people can now share ideas and collaborate on projects with ease.

 

h. Four Conferences:

 

1.     The American Educational Research Association holds a conference every spring.  The organization promotes educational improvement through research.

2.     The first international Self-Determination Theory conference was held in the April of 1999.  Various research studies were presented on topics including values, psychosocial medical interventions, self-regulatory styles, coping processes, the self-organizational dynamics, etc.  The Handbook on Self-Determination Research, scheduled for publication in 2001 resulted from conference discussions.

3.     The annual Nebraska Symposium on Motivation is sponsored by the department of Psychology at the University of Nebraska.  The purpose of the meeting is to inform and discuss perspectives, research, challenges and future directions in the field of motivation.

4.     The American Psychological Association holds a convention every year.  The purpose of the assembly is to present and discuss cutting-edge research in a range of psychological divisions and to offer opportunities for continuing professional education.

 

i. Popular Handbooks:

 

Handbooks are designed to provide overviews of important ideas, theories and issues in their respective fields.  Some popular handbooks for topics in education include:

 

Handbook of Educational Psychology- eds. David C. Berliner and Robert C. Calfee.  New York: Macmillan. 1996.

Handbook of Child Psychology- editor-in-chief William Damon.  

New York: J. Wiley. 1998.

Handbook of Developmental Psychology- ed. Benjamin B. Wolman and asc ed. George Stricker.  New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 1982.

 

j. Useful resources:

1.     ERIC and PsychInfo are two electronic search engines for locating journal articles and other sources written throughout the years on educational research, theory and practice.

2.     Edward Deci and Richard Ryan created a Self-Determination Theory website through the University of Rochester.  The site offers a nice explanation of the theory as well as details on current research debates. www.scp.rochester.edu/SDT

 

 

 

 

Historical Overview: See Additional Attachment