A Meta-Analysis of Perceived Locus of Causality in Exercise, Sport, and Physical Education Contexts

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Exeter
  • 2 University of Essex
  • 3 Loughborough University
  • 4 University of Exeter
  • 5 Nanyang Technical University
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The present article conducts a meta-analytic review of the research adopting the perceived locus of causality in the contexts of sport, exercise, and physical education. A literature search of published articles identified three main research foci: (a) the development of instruments that assess perceived locus of causality; (b) examination of the construct validity of perceived locus of causality by investigating the relevance of the self-determination continuum as well as by using antecedents (e.g., perceived competence) and outcomes (e.g., intentions); and (c) integration of Nicholls’ (1984) concepts of task and ego orientation with perceived locus of causality. A meta-analysis using 21 published articles supported the existence of a self-determination continuum from external regulation to introjection and identification. In addition, path analysis of corrected effect sizes supported the mediating effects of perceived locus of causality on the relationship between perceived competence and intentions. Results are discussed with reference to the assumptions of self-determination theory, Vallerand’s (1997) hierarchical model of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, and theories of behavioral intentions.

Dept. of Sport & Health Sciences, Univ. of Exeter, St Luke’s Campus, Devon EX1 2LU, U.K.

Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, U.K.

Dept. of P.E., Sports Science & Recreation Management, Loughborough Univ., Loughborough, Leics., LE11 3TU, U.K.

Qualitative Research Unit, University of Exeter

Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore 637616.