A desire to be taught: Instructional consequences of intrinsic motivation

Mark R. Lepper*, Diana I. Cordova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes the results from a series of studies designed to test the hypothesis that making learning more fun will produce corresponding increases both in learning and retention and in subsequent interest in the subject matter itself. Each study examined the effects of two or more versions of an educational activity, each designed to involve identical instructional content, but to differ in motivational appeal. The data from the studies presented provide good general support for the hypothesized cognitive and motivational benefits of appropriately designed motivational embellishments of educational activities. Exceptions to this rule, however, and a more general theoretical analysis of the conditions under which such positive effects are (and are not) expected to occur, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-208
Number of pages22
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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