INTRINSIC MOTIVATION TOWARDS SPORTS: DOES IT BEGIN WITH SPORT ABILITY BELIEFS?
 
Wang, J., National Institute of Education, Singapore and Biddle, S., Loughborough University, UK
 
Recent research in contemporary achievement motivation has stressed a social cognitive approach to the study of motivation and behaviour in individuals, often with children. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between adults' beliefs of sport ability, goal orientations, perceived sport competence, and intrinsic motivation. 155 teacher trainees in Singapore aged between 18 - 35 years (M=23.48, SD=2.82) completed questionnaires assessing a) goal orientation (TEOSQ; Duda and Nicholls, 1992, Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 1-10), b) conceptions of sport ability (CNAAQ; Wang & Biddle, 2001, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 23, 1-22), c) perceived competence (sport competence scale adapted from PSPP; Fox and Corbin, 1989, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11, 408-430), and d) intrinsic motivation (enjoyment subscale of IMI, McAuley, Duncan & Tammen, 1989, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 11, 187-200). Structural equation modelling revealed that task orientation is best predicted by an incremental belief and ego orientation by an entity belief (CFI = 0.992, GFI = 0.981, RMSEA = 0.04). In addition, intrinsic motivation towards sport was predicted by goal orientations through perceived competence and directly by task orientation. Entity beliefs negatively predicted intrinsic motivation. 54.6% of variance in intrinsic motivation was accounted for (see Figure 1). This study showed that an incremental belief strongly predicted task orientation, whereas a belief that sport ability is fixed and is a gift may lead individuals to adopt a social comparison goal or even decrease their motivation towards sport. This information is important for educators and exercise promoters working with adult populations.