Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

Gwen Marchand

Second Committee Member

Leann Putney

Third Committee Member

CarolAnne Kardash

Fourth Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Fifth Committee Member

Shaoan Zhang

Number of Pages



The present study compares the immediate and delayed effects of teacher- vs. student-generated utility value interventions on students' interest, performance, and perceptions of utility value. In addition, it examines whether sense of autonomy mediates the relationship between type of utility value intervention and performance. The study is grounded in self-determination theory and expectancy-value theory and adopts a 3x3 mixed model design, with random assignment of participants to two relevance instruction conditions and a control condition.

Findings suggest that the teacher-generated utility value intervention was more effective than the student-generated utility value intervention and the control condition in terms of increased performance and utility value. Furthermore, all students demonstrated significant increases on all dependent variables on the immediate post-test compared to the pre-test. The increased scores remained stable across time, with the exception of utility value, which dropped significantly from immediate to delayed post-test. Finally, the results indicate that autonomy did not mediate the effects of the utility value interventions on effort and performance. Educational implications and directions for future research are discussed.


Graduate students; Interest; Intervention; Motivation; Utility Value


Education | Educational Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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