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  Intrinsic Motivation to Learn 

Student Self-Report of Intrinsic Motivation to Learn
Last updated: May, 2005
This scale assesses the extent to which a student engages in behavior and endorses beliefs conducive to achievement, specifically in reference to interest in learning for its own sake, in contrast with learning for the external consequences or rewards it may yield. The scale was based on and adapted from related work, including Hokoda and Fincham (1995), Roeser, Midgley and Urdan (1996), and Stipek and Gralinski (1996). It was used during a three-year study of the parental involvement process, as reported in Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (2005).

The scale employed a four-point Likert-type response scale: 1 = not true, 2 = a little true, 3 = pretty true, 4 = very true.

Alpha reliability for the scale administered to a sample of 358 public school students in grades 4-6 was .66, as reported in Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (2005).

Students were asked to respond to the following prompt:
“Dear Student, Students have many different ideas about school and homework. Please tell us how true each of the following ideas are for you. There are no right or wrong answers. The right answer is the answer that is most true for you. Your parents and teachers will NOT see what you say. Thank you!”

I want to understand how to solve problems.
I like to look for more information about school subjects.
I want to learn new things.


Hokoda, A. & Fincham, F. D. (1995). Origins of children’s helpless and mastery
achievement patterns in the family. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3), 375-385.

Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., & Sandler, H.M. (2005). Final Performance Report for
OERI Grant # R305T010673: The Social Context of Parental Involvement: A
Path to Enhanced Achievement.
Presented to Project Monitor, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, March 22, 2005.

Roeser, R.W., Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. (1996). Perceptions of the school psychological environment and early adolescents’ psychological and behavioral functioning in school: The mediating role of goals and belonging. Journal of Educational Psychology 88(3), 408-422.

Stipek, D., & Gralinski, J.H. (1996). Children’s beliefs about intelligence and school performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(3), 397-407.

The Family-School Partnership Lab is part of the Psychology and Human Development Department, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University.