Exploring the Origins of intrinsic motivation

Yanmei Zheng*, Chris Janiszewski, Martin Schreier

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

In contrast to extensive research examining intrinsic motivation in educational and professional settings, the present research investigates the origin, and the development, of the intrinsic motivation to participate in a novel leisure activity. One survey and three experiments show that the enjoyment of a novel leisure activity, and the desire to reengage in the activity, are a function of the alignment between the goal associated with participation and a person’s implicit theory about the skills needed to participate. A mastery goal promotes the development of intrinsic motivation when two conditions are met: (1) people believe their skills are malleable, and (2) first-time participation in the activity results in perceptions of improved mastery. A performance goal promotes the development of intrinsic motivation when two conditions are met: (1) people believe their skills are fixed, and (2) first-time participation in the activity results in perceptions of successful performance. The motivational benefits aligning participation goals and implicit theories are reversed when the execution of a first-time leisure activity is exceedingly difficult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-45
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume47
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Enjoyment
  • Goal pursuit
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Leisure activities

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