Brunel, P. and Chantal, Y., University of Limoges and Hauw, N., University of Caen, France
In line with the Hierarchical Model top-down effect (Vallerand, 1997) past research has shown that contextual motivation (i.e., one's usual motivational orientation toward a given set of activities) will affect situational motivation (state motivation toward a specific activity at a specific point in time) only if contextual motivation is perceived as being relevant to the specific activity being performed (Vallerand et al., 2000). The purpose of the present study was to determine the relevant context (education vs. sport) which mainly influence situational motivation toward physical education. During a first phase, 285 pupils completed the Academic Motivation Scale (Vallerand et al., 1989) and the Sport Motivation Scale (Brire et al., 1995) during an academic course. A week later, the filled out the Situational Motivation Scale (Guay et al., in press) after a PE session. Because PE teachers focus more on skill improvement than on normative performance, it was predicted that situational motivation of pupils regularly engaged in sport activities outside the college will be predicted by their contextual motivation toward education. Conversely, that of sedentary pupils will be mainly determined by their sport contextual motivation. Results from path analysis supported these hypothesis. With regard to the overall population, situational motivation toward PE appeared relevant of both life context. It indicated that PE should be considered as specific life context, in between sport and education.