Conventional wisdom and decades of psychological research have linked the provision of choice to increased levels of intrinsic motivation, greater persistence, better performance, and higher satisfaction. This investigation examined the relevance and limitations of these findings for cultures in which individuals possess more interdependent models of the self. In two studies, personal choice generally enhanced motivation more for American independent, than for Asian interdependent selves. In addition, European-Americans showed less intrinsic motivation when choices were made for them by others than when they made their own choices, whether the others were authority figures or peers. In contrast, Asian-Americans proved most intrinsically motivated when choices were made for them by trusted authority figures or peers. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Iyengar, Sheena, and Mark R. Lepper. "Rethinking the Value of Choice: A Cultural Perspective on Intrinsic Motivation." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76, no. 3 (March 1999): 349-66.
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