Vansteenkiste, Simons, Lens, Soenens, et al., 2004: Teaching recycling in an intrinsically way increased learning, interest, and test performance among Belgian college students
Belgian college students studying to become preschool teachers learned about recycling in class. For some the content was linked to their intrinsic goals (“reading the text will provide you some information about how to teach your future toddlers some simple ecological strategies so that they can learn to contribute themselves to a clean and healthy environment”). For others the content was linked to extrinsic goals (“reading the text will provide you some information about how to save money on your future job by recycling materials”). For a last group the content was linked to both goals. As compared to students in both the extrinsic-goal condition and the double-goal condition, students in the intrinsic-goal condition learned more, performing better on a test of conceptual understanding and contributing more to a group presentation a week later and were more likely to seek out further information about recycling.