Reciprocal Predictions Between Interest, Self-Efficacy, and Performance During a Task

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In this study, we examined how situational interest, self-efficacy, and performance predict each other during task engagement, and how they, in turn, contribute to continued interest. Finnish fourth-graders (N = 263) did a computerized inductive reasoning task consisting of two sections. Before and after each section, the students reported their situational interest and self-efficacy, and at the end of the task, students stated whether they would like to do similar tasks again (i.e., continued interest). Students’ domain-specific interest and self-concept in mathematics, and gender differences were controlled. A cross-lagged reciprocal effects model with repeated measures, control variables, and outcomes within the structural equation modeling framework was estimated. The results showed situational interest to have a stronger effect on self-efficacy than vice versa, and that they both partly contributed to task performance. Continued interest was influenced only by situational interest at the end of the task. The patterning of predictions across the different stages of the task suggests these effects to be somewhat sensitive to task characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalFrontiers in education: educational psychology
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 515 Psychology

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