Effects of individualist and collectivist group norms and choice on intrinsic motivation
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Previous research suggests that the positive effect of personal choice on intrinsic motivation is dependent on the extent to which the pervading cultural norm endorses individualism or collectivism (Iyengar and Lepper in J Pers Soc Psychol 76:349–366, 1999). The present study tested effects of personal choice on intrinsic motivation under situationally-induced individualist and collectivist group norms. An organizational role-play scenario was used to manipulate individualist and collectivist group norms in participants from a homogenous cultural background. Participants then completed an anagram task under conditions of personal choice or when the task was either assigned to them by an in-group (company director) or out-group (experimenter) social agent. Consistent with hypotheses, when the group norm prescribed individualism participants in the personal choice condition exhibited greater intrinsic motivation. When the group norm prescribed collectivism, participants’ assigned to the task by the company director were more intrinsically motivated. The implications of results for theories of intrinsic motivation are discussed.
KeywordsSelf-determination theory Group norms Identified regulation Internalization Free-choice paradigm Culture
We thank Emma Mills for her assistance with data collection. This research was conducted in partial fulfilment of Panagiotis Rentzelas’ doctoral dissertation.
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