Journal of educational psychology vol:100 issue:2 pages:387-397
Previous work within self-determination theory has shown that experimentally framing a learning activity in terms of extrinsic rather than intrinsic goals results in poorer conceptual learning and performance, presumably because extrinsic goal framing detracts attention from the learning activity and is less directly satisfying of basic psychological needs. According to the match perspective, experimental extrinsic, compared to intrinsic, goal framing should enhance learning and performance for learners who personally hold a stronger extrinsic than intrinsic goal orientation, as these learners' personally held goals match with the situationally induced goals. An experimental field study among 5th-6th grade children shows that extrinsic goal framing resulted in poorer autonomous motivation, conceptual (but not rote) learning, and persistence compared to intrinsic goal framing, irrespective of participants' personal intrinsic versus extrinsic goal orientations and their spontaneous perception of the learning activity as serving an intrinsic or an extrinsic goal. The authors conclude that teachers can best promote intrinsic goals, even when facing students who personally hold a stronger extrinsic than intrinsic goal orientation.