RESEARCH LIBRARY

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This meta-analysis provides an extensive and organized summary of intervention studies in education that are grounded in motivation theory. We identified 74 published and unpublished papers that experimentally manipulated an independent variable and measured an authentic educational outcome within an ecologically valid educational context. Our analyses included 92 independent effect sizes with 38,377 participants. Our results indicated that interventions were generally effective, with an average mean effect size of d = 0.49 (95% confidence interval = [0.43, 0.56]). Although there were descriptive differences in the effect sizes across several moderator variables considered in our analyses, the only significant difference found was for the type of experimental design, with randomized designs having smaller effect sizes than quasi-experimental designs. This work illustrates the extent to which interventions and accompanying theories have been tested via experimental methods and provides information about appropriate next steps in developing and testing effective motivation interventions in education.

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