An examination of situational interest and its sources in physical education

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ang Chen, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background. Situational interest is articulated theoretically as a construct associated with five dimensional sources: novelty, challenge, attention demand, exploration intention, and instant enjoyment. Aims. This study aimed to examine the influence of the dimensional sources on situational interest. It was hypothesised that the dimensional sources function differently to contribute to situational interest and that the influence of a source might be mediated by others. Sample. Two samples of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students were used in the study. There were 281 students (57% male, 43% female) in the first sample and 191 (47% male, 53% female) in the second. Method. Students in Sample A evaluated situational interest and the dimensional sources in tasks of analysing jogging and gymnastic stunts on video. Those in Sample B evaluated them in tasks of learning basketball. Correlation and regression analyses and path analyses were used to test the theoretical model. Results. Instant Enjoyment determined situational interest. Exploration and Novelty had positive influences on situational interest via enhancing Instant Enjoyment. Challenge showed little influence. The path analyses for both samples confirmed the inter-dimensional mediation effects of the sources. Conclusion. The analysed data support the hypotheses. The dimensional sources had unequal influences on situational interest and the mediation effects among themselves at times strengthened or weakened each other’s influences. The findings suggest that to increase situational interest, educators should offer students ample exploratory opportunities during student-task interaction that can lead to instant enjoyment for learning.

Additional Information

British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(3), 383-400.
Language: English
Date: 2001
Middle School, High School, Students, Motivation, Learning, Interest, Physical education

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