15 August 2018

My Intrinsic Motivation Research

Intrinsic Motivation Research

My intrinsic motivation research was focused on the patterns that are present in two schools in the Portland area of Oregon, USA.
The research was conducted as the culminating project for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology that I was awarded from Reed College in 2012.
There are two versions of my motivational research 
  • my original thesis and 
  • the peer-reviewed Other Education journal article (2013 Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.42-66). 
My thesis is longer and presents more data.

Intrinsic Motivation Research Thesis

Other Education



Thesis Abstract


This study used Self-Determination Theory as a framework for examining the motivational consequences of non-mandatory instruction in the contexts of a home school resource center and a democratically organized school. 
A positive correlation between age and intrinsic motivation was hypothesized based on the finding of Apostoleris (2000) based on a sample of home schoolers using Harter’s (1981) measure of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, which was in stark contrast to the well-replicated observation of a negative correlation between age and intrinsic motivation in traditional schools. 
Using the Academic Self Regulation Questionnaire in order to observe intrinsic motivation and three degrees of extrinsic motivation independently, no statistically significant correlations between age and any of the four motivation subscale scores were found. 
Three interpretations of this result are proposed and these particular contexts for non-mandatory instruction are further illuminated by interviews with seven teachers.
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Journal Article Abstract

The present study used Self-Determination Theory as a framework for examining age-related changes in motivation for 57 students aged 7-17 years in the context of two alternative educational environments: a home school resource center and a democratically organized school.
Students completed the Academic Self-Regulation Questionnaire in order to assess their intrinsic motivation and three types of extrinsic motivation. 
In stark contrast to the well-replicated negative correlation between age and intrinsic motivation in traditional schools, there was no relationship between age and any of the four motivation subscale scores in the present study.
Interpretations and implications of these findings are discussed.

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