Research Article
The Beneficial Effects of Non-received Choice: A Study on Intrinsic Motivation in Biology Education

Annika Meyer, Inga Meyer-Ahrens, Matthias Wilde

APA 6th edition
Meyer, A., Meyer-Ahrens, I., & Wilde, M. (2013). The Beneficial Effects of Non-received Choice: A Study on Intrinsic Motivation in Biology Education. European Journal of Educational Research, 2(4), 185-190. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.2.4.185

Meyer A., Meyer-Ahrens I., and Wilde M. 2013 'The Beneficial Effects of Non-received Choice: A Study on Intrinsic Motivation in Biology Education', European Journal of Educational Research , vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 185-190. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Meyer, Annika , Meyer-Ahrens, Inga and Wilde, Matthias . "The Beneficial Effects of Non-received Choice: A Study on Intrinsic Motivation in Biology Education". (2013)European Journal of Educational Research 2, no. 4(2013): 185-190. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.2.4.185


Previous research has found conflicting evidence in studies where students participate in the selection of their course topics in educational settings. Katz and Assor, for example, have argued that the increase in student motivation is probably not due to the mere act of choosing, but to the value of the options with respect to personal interest. The aim of our study was to investigate the impact of choice on aspects of motivation during biology lessons. Our sample consisted of five classes with 118 children of whom 63% were female. Their average age was 10.4 years (SD=0.6). One group of students was asked to select one topic out of four in a majority vote during a biology class, while a control group was simply assigned the same topic. Results: Students who chose their topic reported a higher level of intrinsic motivation than students who were not given the option. A surprising result was that the students in the voting group who did not receive their preferred choice reported the same level of motivation as those who did.

Keywords: Choice, student vote, autonomy, intrinsic motivation


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