The Effects of Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Related Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Research Findings

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A meta-analysis of 41 studies examined the effect of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes in a variety of settings with both child and adult samples. Results indicated that providing choice enhanced intrinsic motivation, effort, task performance, and perceived competence, among other outcomes. Moderator tests revealed the effect of choice on intrinsic motivation was stronger (a) for instructionally irrelevant choices compared to choices made between activities, versions of a task, rewards, and instructionally relevant options, (b) when 2 to 4 successive choices were given, (c) when rewards were not given after the choice manipulation, (d) when participants given choice were compared to the most controlling forms of control groups, (e) for children compared to adults, (f) for designs that yoked choice and control conditions compared to matched designs in which choice was reduced or designs in which nonyoked, nonmatched controls were used, and (g) when the experiment was conducted in a laboratory embedded in a natural setting. Implications for future research and applications to real-world settings are discussed. © 2008 American Psychological Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Patall, EA; Cooper, H; Robinson, JC

Published Date

  • March 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 134 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 270 - 300

PubMed ID

  • 18298272

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0033-2909

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0033-2909.134.2.270

Citation Source

  • Scopus