Interaction of extrinsic with intrinsic motivation and the relationship with sport enjoyment

Por: Costas Karageorghis e Symeon Vlachopoulos.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Sport enjoyment has been recognized as a key factor in understanding continued involvement in sport [6]. This is because "having fun" has consistently been reported to be among the most important reasons for sport participation [4] while research has demonstrated that enjoyment reported in the form of intrinsically motivated reasons for sport participation predicted long-term adherence among swimmers (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, & Briere, 2001, cited in [8]). A promising theoretical framework to further understanding of the promotion of feelings of enjoyment in sport has been Self-determination Theory (SDT) [2]. Based on SDT, Vallerand and Fortier [7] offered theoretical predictions regarding the interplay between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in sport and their relationships to motivational outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between the interaction of external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation and intrinsic motivation, and sport enjoyment while controlling for the effects of goal orientations and perceived sport competence.


Adult sport participants (N = 430) were assessed on their reasons for sport participation [5]. Task and ego orientations [1], and perceptions of their perceived sport competence [3] were also assessed prior to commencement of a training session to be used as covariates. A week later, prior to the corresponding training session, participants’ levels of sport enjoyment were assessed.


Interaction analyses using linear regression revealed that the co-existence of high levels of intrinsic motivation with high levels of either introjected regulation or identified regulation corresponded with higher scores for enjoyment/interest and small interaction effect sizes of .03 and .02 respectively. Both moderate and high levels of intrinsic motivation had a prophylactic effect against the expected negative influence of introjected regulation on enjoyment/interest.


It was concluded that the enhancement of enjoyment/interest in sport may result from promoting intrinsic motivation and reducing external regulation while the combination of high levels of either introjected regulation or identified regulation with high levels of intrinsic motivation may be beneficial to the enjoyment/interest levels of adult sport participants.


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