Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 187–208 | Cite as

A desire to be taught: Instructional consequences of intrinsic motivation

  • Mark R. Lepper
  • Diana I. Cordova


This paper summarizes the results from a series of studies designed to test the hypothesis that making learning more fun will produce corresponding increases both in learning and retention and in subsequent interest in the subject matter itself. Each study examined the effects of two or more versions of an educational activity, each designed to involve identical instructional content, but to differ in motivational appeal. The data from the studies presented provide good general support for the hypothesized cognitive and motivational benefits of appropriately designed motivational embellishments of educational activities. Exceptions to this rule, however, and a more general theoretical analysis of the conditions under which such positive effects are (and are not) expected to occur, are also discussed.


Social Psychology Theoretical Analysis Subject Matter Intrinsic Motivation Educational Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Lepper
    • 1
  • Diana I. Cordova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Jordan Hall—Building 420Stanford UniversityStanford

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