Research Study Abstract

Goal Orientation, Intrinsic Motivation and Exerted Effort

  • Presented on July 3, 2014

Introduction: Researchers have found that task orientation is positively related to intentions towards physical activity and exerted effort, (Duda & Hall, 2001). However. Mehus (2013) found that ego orientation had a positive impact on effort in a highly competitive environment, wheras task orientation had no impact. This is a follow up study of Mehus (2013), investigating how intrinsic motivation impacts the relationship between goal orientation and exerted effort.

Methods: Participants (N=135) were students taking part in an introductory course in Sport Science. The mean age of the participants was 21 years, and 51.9% were female. To measure effort, participants were required to run around a volleyball court for three minutes, demanding two full stops for each lap. Total distance served as a measure of effort/aerobic fitness. VPA was measured using an Actigraph GT1M accelerometer (Actigraph LLC, Pensacola, FL, USA). Students were instructed to wear the monitor for 6 consecutive days. Dispositional goal orientations were measured using the Perception of Success Questionnaire (POSQ; Roberts, Treasure & Balague, 1998). Intrinsic motivation was measured using the Behavioral Regualtion in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2; Markland & Tobin, 2004).

Results: The regression model explained 48,7% of the variance in effort/physical fitness (adjusted R2), and turned out statistically significant. Except for age, all independent variables were statistically significant (p<.05). The model was checked for non-linearity and interaction effects. An interesting interaction effect was found between VPA and intrinsic motivation, indicating that students high in intrinsic motivation and VPA had a lower score on effort compared to students low in intrinsic motivation, and high VPA. The interaction effect was included in the final model, explaining 50.7%, [F(7, 134)=20.72, p<.001].

Discussion: Because men run faster than women in this sample, gender is the independent variable explaining the highest amount of variation in effort. However, controlling for gender also reveal that ego orientation, intrinsic motivation and VPA have a positive impact on effort, whereas task orientation has a negative impact on effort. Results are discussed within the theoretical framework of AGT and SDT.

References: Duda, J. L., & Hall, H. (2001). Achievement goal theory in sport: Recent extensions and future directions. In R. Singer, H. Hausenblas, & C. Janelle (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology, (2nd ed.) (pp. 417–443). New York: Wiley. Markland, D. & Tobin, V. (2004). A modification of the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire to include an assessment of amotivation. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26, 191-196. Mehus, I. (2013). Goal orientation and physical fitness. Paper presented at the ECSS-congress in Barcelona, 26-29 June, 2013 Roberts, G. C., Treasure, D. C., & Balague, G. (1998). Achievement goals in sport: The development and validation of the perception of success questionnaire. Journal of Sports Sciences, 16, 337-347