, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 146-153
Date: 06 Apr 2012

The effect of variety expectations on interest, enjoyment, and locus of causality in exercise

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Most attempts to influence intrinsic motivation have focused on contextual support for basic need satisfaction, including the provision of autonomy support, structure, and interpersonal involvement (e.g., Edmunds et al. in Eur J Soc Psychol 38:375–388, 2008). This study explored the extent to which another factor, expectations for task variety, influenced interest, enjoyment, and locus of causality in a novel exercise setting. Results showed that participants exposed to messages about variety in an exercise class enjoyed the class more, found it more interesting, and perceived greater internal causality than those who received messages about similarity in the class. Moderator analyses indicated that expectations of task variety were particularly conducive for task interest among participants who usually demonstrated lower intrinsic motivation for exercise. Discussion focuses on the relevance of these findings to self-determination theory and on opportunities for future research.