A fourth factor influencing individual motivation is fantasy, which plays a role when learners use mental images of situations that are not actually present to stimulate their behavior. {Fantasy is an individual factor because a person can use imagination to motivate learning without involving other people. Of course a fantasy could involve other people, as when a person imagine using skills learned in a particular class to win a competition.} By engaging in activities related to learning, learners may use their imaginations to meet challenges, satisfy curiosity, exercise control, or experience interpersonal motivations (discussed next) without directly participating in the imagined activities themselves.

There are three factors that influence the degree to which fantasy influences intrinsic motivation:


Insert Figure 5.1 about here.

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  •  Endogenous fantasies are more likely than exogenous fantasies to draw learners into a learning activity. Exogenous fantasies are those in which there is little or no intrinsic connection between the learning and the fantasy. Endogenous fantasies are those in which there is an intrinsic connection.

    Examples of ways to use endogenous fantasies to stimulate intrinsic motivation:


    • "The curriculum calls for us to study Romeo and Juliet. Here are three ways that we've done this in the past. What do you think would be the best way for us to proceed?" {But remember: The students who will be most motivated to study Romeo and Juliet will be those who beg the teacher to be allowed to study that play.}

    • Social studies students may imagine themselves succeeding as pioneers while traveling from Kansas City to Oregon in a computer simulation (Figure 5.2).

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    Insert Figure 5.2 about here.

    (Screen from OREGON TRAIL)

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    •  The Number Munchers game (cited above under emotional aspects) is an example of an exogenous fantasy. There is little obvious connection between the munching and the math.


    • The Vocabulary Baseball game (cited above under emotional aspects) is an example of an exogenous fantasy. There is little obvious connection between the knowing the vocabulary words and playing baseball.


    Review Quiz 5


    Which of the following teachers is (are) appealing to fantasy in order to enhance motivation?

    1. _____ Mr. Santucci lets his students play a computer game in which they "shoot" numbers that are answers to math problems, much like in the arcade game Alien Invaders.

    2. _____ Miss Stephens gives each of her economics students $10,000 in imaginary money, and they try to make more money by investing in the stock market and keeping track of daily stock prices.

    3. _____ Professor Vockell puts quizzes like this one throughout this chapter to help students determine whether they understand what they are reading.

    4. ____ Mrs. Hahn tells her students that if they do well on the unit quiz, she will take them on a field trip.




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    Motivating Through Fantasy




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    Intrinsic Motivation
    Fantasy <<You are here>>
    Interpersonal Motivation
    Summary of Intrinsic Motivation
    Motivating Through Curriculum
    Reinforcement and Punishment
    Affective Aspects of Motivation
    Physiological Aspects of Motivation
    Cognitive Aspects of Motivation
    Needs and Motivation
    Attribution Theory
    Development and Motivation
    Motivation as a Personality Characteristic
    Teacher Expectancy
    Social Aspects of Motivation: Classroom Structure
    What Teachers Can Do About Motivation
    What Parents Can Do About Motivation
    What Students Can Do About Motivation
    Chapter Summary
    Annotated Bibliography
    Answers to Quizzes