Three studies examined the effects of experimentally induced motivational orientations on the subtly different positive affects of vitality and happiness. We hypothesized, based on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan & Frederick, 1997), that doing well when autonomously motivated would enhance subjective vitality relative to doing well when controlled in one's motivation, but that doing well under the two motivational states would not have differential effects on happiness. Two experiments in which motivation was induced by instructions to participants about task engagement and a third experiment using an attributional methodology yielded the hypothesized pattern of effects. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of differentiating positive outcomes in terms of their underlying motives and of giving increased attention to understanding restorative environments.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by a research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH 53385).
- Intrinsic motivation
- Positive affect
- Self-determination theory