Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)
School of Education
Joseph C. Kush
Attitude, Choice, Interest, Motivation, Reading
The author replicated and extended a study by Flowerday, Schraw, & Stevens (2004) that examined the effects of choice, topic interest, and situational interest on reading engagement, attitude, and learning in college-age students. The study was replicated using fourth and fifth graders as subjects. The study was extended to examine the effects of gender and reading ability cohort on the outcome measures. Participants randomly assigned to the choice condition made a blind choice of Packet A or B containing a non-fiction essay to read; participants assigned to the no choice condition were given one of the packets without being offered a choice. Outcomes were measured using scores on a multiple-choice test, a content essay, a personal reaction essay, and an attitude checklist. Results confirmed the 2004 finding that situational interest has the strongest effect on students' attitude toward a reading task. Both topic interest and choice had a smaller but significant effect on attitude after situational interest was controlled for, indicating that topic interest and choice have a stronger influence on the attitude of elementary students than they do on college students. Participants in the choice group had higher situational interest levels and a more positive attitude toward the task. There was no difference in the performance outcomes of the choice and no choice groups. Neither gender nor reading ability cohort had an effect on interest level or attitude.
Scott, J. (2012). Is It Choice or Is It Interest?: The Effect of Choice and Interest on the Cognitive and Affective Engagement of Elementary Students Performing a Reading Task (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1165