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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of (a) skill test type, (b) choices, and (c) gender on the situational motivation profiles of adolescents during skill testing in physical education. Participants were 507 students (53% male) aged 12–16 years (M = 13.87; SD = 0.94) attending a suburban junior high school in a western state in the U.S. All participants experienced either a norm-referenced, summative or a criterion-referenced, formative skill test with or without choices. The Situational Intrinsic Motivation Scale (SIMS) was administered to assess situational motivation. A 2 (test type) × 2 (choice) × 2 (gender) MANOVA was used to test for significant differences on each of the four SIMS indices. Significant test type and gender and a significant test type by gender interaction were found. These findings suggest practitioners should use criterion-referenced, formative skill tests especially when teaching girls in physical education.
Johnson is with Boise State University—Kinesiology, Boise, ID. Prusak, Pennington, and Wilkinson are with Brigham Young University—Teacher Education, Provo, UT.