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Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly ; Schiefele, Ulrich
Interest and the Quality of Experience in Classrooms
Kurzfassung auf EnglischThis study investigated the relation between interest in four different subject areas (mathematics, biology, English, history) and the quality of experience in class. The strength of interest as a predictor of experience was contrasted with that of achievement motivation and scholastic ability. A total of208 highly able freshmen and sophomores completed interest ratings, an achievement motivation questionnaire, and the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). These assessments were followed by one week of experience sampling. In addition, grades were available for the subject areas involved. The results showed that interest was a significant predictor of the experience of potency, intrinsic motivation, self-esteem, and perception of skill. Controlling for ability and achievement motivation did not decrease the strength of these relations. Achievement motivation and ability proved to be considerably weaker predictors of the quality of experience than was interest. In addition, interest contributed significantly to the prediction of grades in mathematics, biology, and history, but not English. The main results and some limitations of the study are discussed, and suggestions for future research are made.
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