British Journal of Psychology vol:91 pages:335-351
Two theories of motivation relevant to classroom learning result in conflicting recommendations for enhancing motivation and performance. The goal theory stresses only that stimulating an individual's natural curiosity will increase motivation. This theory relies on the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Future time perspective theory stresses the importance of the personal future for motivation and learning and the utility of what is learned for the future. A series of studies investigated the role of three types of perceived instrumentality of a present task for an individual's goal orientation. Eighty-one adults and 229 high school students participated in three studies. They had to think of three actions they were regularly involved in during their daily life (Studies 1 and 2), or three courses: they took (Study 3), corresponding to the three types of instrumentality. Afterwards, they responded to a questionnaire that assessed goal orientation in those three actions. Results suggested that stressing the personal future consequences of tasks, even when these were extrinsic, enhanced task orientation and decreased performance orientation, both in daily life and in study contexts, as predicted by Future rime perspective theory.