Self-controlled learning benefits: exploring contributions of self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation via path analysis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Research has shown learning advantages for self-controlled practice contexts relative to yoked (i.e., experimenter-imposed) contexts; yet, explanations for this phenomenon remain relatively untested. We examined, via path analysis, whether self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation are important constructs for explaining self-controlled learning benefits. The path model was created using theory-based and empirically supported relationships to examine causal links between these psychological constructs and physical performance. We hypothesised that self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation would have greater predictive power for learning under self-controlled compared to yoked conditions. Participants learned double-mini trampoline progressions, and measures of physical performance, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation were collected over two practice days and a delayed retention day. The self-controlled group (M = 2.04, SD = .98) completed significantly more skill progressions in retention than their yoked counterparts (M = 1.3, SD = .65). The path model displayed adequate fit, and similar significant path coefficients were found for both groups wherein each variable was predominantly predicted by its preceding time point (e.g., self-efficacy time 1 predicts self-efficacy time 2). Interestingly, the model was not moderated by group; thus, failing to support the hypothesis that self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation have greater predictive power for learning under self-controlled relative to yoked conditions.


  • Ste-Marie, Diane M
  • Carter, Michael
  • Law, Barbi
  • Vertes, Kelly
  • Smith, Victoria

publication date

  • September 2016