Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Situational Interest: Content Specificity and Content Generality

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Situational Interest: Content Specificity and Content Generality

Article excerpt

Motivation is content specific. Students in various subject areas are likely to rely on different motivators, such as task values, achievement-goal orientations, and perceptions of competence (Bong, 2001, 2002; Buehl & Alexander, 2005). Situational interest, as a motivation construct, can be influenced by cognitive and physical demand in physical activities (Chen & Darst, 2001). The extent to which it is content specific at unit and curriculum levels remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare situational interest between a muscular capacity and a flexibility/weight-control unit in an elementary school physical education curriculum. The participants were third-grade students (N = 524) from 27 classes in randomly selected 11 elementary schools. Situational interest and its dimensions (Novelty, Challenge, Attention Demand, Exploration Intention, and Instant Enjoyment) were measured using the Situational Interest Scale (Chen, Darst, & Pangrazi, 1999). Data were collected immediately after the students completed learning each unit. We used multivariate analysis of variance to compare the difference of the dimensions between the curriculum units and class means as the unit of analysis. The multivariate analysis revealed no statistically significant differences in Situational Interest (F = 2. …

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