Vansteenkiste, Simons, Lens, Sheldon, et al., 2004, Experiment 2: Teaching marketing in an intrinsically or autonomous way increased interest, learning, and test performance among Belgian marketing students
Belgian college students studying marketing learned about business communications in class. For some the content was linked to their intrinsic goals (“carefully reading the text…can contribute to your personal development”). For others the content was linked to extrinsic goals (“carefully reading the text…can help your chances of getting a well-paid job”). Students in the intrinsic-goal condition learned more, performing better on a test of conceptual understanding immediately after the course and 2 weeks later and contributing more in small group presentations 5 days later, reported more autonomous motivation, and were more likely to seek out further information about business communications, taking extra reading, completing extra problems, and going to the library for related information. Similar benefits were also found for an intervention that represented the course content in autonomy-supportive ways.