The Correlation of External Motivation and Agency Position in The Educational Activity of Primary School Students



A significant bias towards external motivation in primary school and increased requirements for the development of student’s agency has caused the relevance of the research aimed to identify the correlation of external motivation and an agency position in the educational activities of primary school students. We used recently adapted method to study educational motivation – a modification of the questionnaire "Academic Self-regulation" (SRQ-A) (T.O. Gordeeva, O.A. Sychev, M.F. Lynch, 2020), which is based on the ideas of external and internal motivation according to the theory of self-determination by E. Desi and R. Ryan. Also the following methods were used: the questionnaire "The agency position" (Yu.V. Zaretsky, V.K. Zaretsky, I.Yu. Kulagina), the projective method "Attitude to learning" (O.N. Pakhomova) and the projective method of unfinished sentences. The study involved 69 respondents (37 boys, 32 girls) – students of third and forth grades. It is shown that with the agency position, combinations of all types of educational motives are possible. At the same time, children with the agency position have higher indicators of autonomy, that is, they regulate their educational activities more independently, to a less – under the influence of external factors.

General Information

Keywords: self-determination theory, extrinsic motivation, academic motivation, agency position, autonomy, primary school age

Journal rubric: Psychology of Education

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for assistance in data collection Zaets I.O.

Received: 12.08.2021


For citation: Tsoy L.V., Kulagina I.Y. The Correlation of External Motivation and Agency Position in The Educational Activity of Primary School Students [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psychological-Educational Studies, 2022. Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 3–16. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2022140101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Larisa V. Tsoy, master’s degree, Department of Educational Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina Y. Kulagina, PhD in Psychology, Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail: