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Quality Of Learning With An Active Versus Passive Motivational Set

Carl Benware, E. Deci
Published 1984 · Psychology

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This study tested whether students who learned with an active orientation would be more intrinsically motivated to learn and would learn more than students who learned with a passive orientation. The active orientation was created by having subjects learn material with the expectation of teaching it to another student; the passive orientation was created by having subjects learn the same material with the expectation of being tested on it. The results indicate that subjects who learned in order to teach were more intrinsically motivated, had higher conceptual learning scores, and perceived themselves to be more actively engaged with the environment than subjects who learned in order to be examined. The two groups were equal, however, in their rote learning scores. The effects of exposure to the material were ruled out as an explanation because the two groups reported spending equal time with the material. The results are discussed in terms of intrinsic motivation theory.
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