First Advisor

Nancy Perrin

Term of Graduation

Spring 1998

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology






Service Learning -- United States, Experiential learning -- United States, Behavioral assessment -- United States, Social psychology -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 119 pages)


Many American high schools and universities require students to perform community service. Although social psychological research shows that intrinsic motivation for an activity decreases when that activity is rewarded or when the actor perceives little self-determination in performing the activity, no research has examined the effect of intrinsic motivation on volunteerism subsequent to mandated community service.

The purpose of the present study was to determine if students who had been required to perform community service would be less likely to volunteer in the community at a later date than would those students who had not been required to serve. In addition, the mechanisms by which that decrement in volunteerism may occur were explored.

Participants were 434 lower-division students at Portland State University (PSU; Sample 1) and 97 students enrolled in Senior Capstone (service-oriented) courses at PSU (Sample 2). Sample 1 participants were asked by a confederate to volunteer in the community. Approximately ten days later, a different confederate administered a questionnaire to the participants ascertaining their prior service experience and their feelings about that experience. Participants in Sample 2 were only given the questionnaire, which was changed slightly to reflect their feelings about their current service work in the Capstone courses.

Sample 1 chi-square results indicated that students who had been required to serve were no less likely to volunteer than were students who had had volunteer experience. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated that those who volunteered had higher intrinsic motivation than did those who did not volunteer. Finally, multiple regression analyses indicated that those who had made internal attributions about their previous service were more intrinsically motivated to volunteer, and those who had made external attributions were more extrinsically motivated to volunteer.

Sample 2 MANOVA results indicated that those students who had taken a Capstone as a requirement had a more negative view of the Capstones, made more external attributions about their Capstone experience, and were more extrinsically motivated to volunteer in the future than were those who had taken the Capstone as an elective.


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