Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28)

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Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28)

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About Scale Name

Scale Name

Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28)

Author Details

Robert Vallerand and colleagues

Translation Availability

Not Sure

Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28)
Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28)


The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) is a self-report questionnaire that was developed by Robert Vallerand and his colleagues in the early 1990s to measure students’ academic motivation. The AMS was designed to assess the degree to which individuals are motivated to engage in academic activities and tasks, as well as the underlying reasons for their motivation.

The AMS is based on the Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which posits that individuals have three basic psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. According to SDT, when these basic psychological needs are satisfied, individuals are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, meaning they engage in an activity because of inherent enjoyment or satisfaction.

The AMS consists of 28 items, which are divided into seven subscales. The subscales include intrinsic motivation to know, intrinsic motivation to accomplish, intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, external regulation, and amotivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for its own inherent enjoyment or satisfaction, while extrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for external rewards or to avoid negative consequences. Amotivation refers to a lack of motivation or interest in the activity.

Scoring, Administration and Interpretation

The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) is a self-report questionnaire that can be administered in a variety of ways, including paper-and-pencil, online, or verbally. Participants are typically asked to rate how much they agree with each statement on a Likert-type scale, which ranges from 1 (not at all true) to 7 (very true).

Once the data is collected, the scores for each subscale can be computed by adding up the responses to the relevant items and dividing by the number of items on that subscale. The resulting score for each subscale ranges from 1 to 7, with higher scores indicating higher levels of motivation.

Interpretation of the AMS scores depends on the research question being addressed. Researchers may be interested in comparing the scores of different groups or examining the relationship between academic motivation and other variables, such as academic achievement or psychological well-being.

In general, high scores on the intrinsic motivation subscales indicate that individuals are engaging in academic activities because they find them inherently enjoyable or satisfying. High scores on the identified regulation subscale suggest that individuals are engaging in academic activities because they value the outcomes associated with those activities. High scores on the external regulation subscale suggest that individuals are engaging in academic activities because of external rewards or pressure. Low scores on all three subscales suggest that individuals are experiencing amotivation or lack of interest in academic activities.

It’s important to note that interpretation of AMS scores should be done with caution and in conjunction with other measures, as academic motivation is a complex construct influenced by many factors.

Reliability and Validity

Academic Motivation Scale (AMS), has satisfactory levels of internal consistency (mean alpha value = .81) and temporal stability over a one-month period (mean test-retest correlation = .79

Internal consistency: The AMS has consistently demonstrated high levels of internal consistency across different populations and contexts. Internal consistency refers to the degree to which the items on a scale measure the same underlying construct. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the AMS subscales have ranged from .71 to .92, indicating good to excellent internal consistency.

Test-retest reliability: Test-retest reliability refers to the degree to which participants’ scores on a measure are consistent over time. The AMS has demonstrated good test-retest reliability, with correlations ranging from .70 to .90 over periods of one week to six months.

Content validity: Content validity refers to the degree to which the items on a measure accurately represent the construct being measured. The AMS was developed based on Self-Determination Theory, which provides a strong theoretical foundation for the scale. The items on the AMS have been shown to capture the different types of academic motivation identified by self-determination theory.

Construct validity: Construct validity refers to the degree to which a measure correlates with other measures that assess similar or related constructs. The AMS has been shown to have high convergent and discriminant validity, meaning that it correlates strongly with other measures of academic motivation and weakly or not at all with measures of unrelated constructs.

Criterion validity: Criterion validity refers to the degree to which a measure predicts relevant outcomes. The AMS has been shown to predict academic achievement, engagement, and well-being, providing evidence for its criterion validity.

Available Versions



Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Briere, N. M., Senecal, C., & Vallieres, E. F. (1992). The Academic Motivation Scale: A measure of intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation in education. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52(4), 1003–1017. (For More Details)

Important Link

Scale File:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What age range is the AMS appropriate for?
A: The original version of the AMS was developed for use with high school and college students, although it has been used with other age groups as well.

Q: How long does it take to complete the AMS?
A: The time it takes to complete the AMS can vary based on the individual participant and the specific version or adaptation of the scale being used. Generally, it takes around 10-15 minutes to complete the AMS.

Q: Is the AMS available in different languages?
A: Yes, the AMS has been translated into multiple languages, including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Chinese, among others. However, researchers should be cautious when using translations and ensure that they have been validated for use in their specific population.

Q: Can the AMS be used for clinical purposes?
A: The AMS was not specifically designed for clinical purposes and is primarily used in research settings. However, it could potentially be used as part of a comprehensive assessment battery in clinical contexts.

Q: Can the AMS be used to evaluate interventions aimed at increasing academic motivation?
A: Yes, the AMS can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at increasing academic motivation. Researchers can administer the AMS before and after the intervention and compare scores to determine if there was a significant change in academic motivation as a result of the intervention.

Q: How can I obtain the AMS?
A: The AMS is a copyrighted measure and permission from the authors is required to use it. Researchers can request permission directly from the lead author, Robert Vallerand, or through the publisher of the journal where the AMS was originally published.

Special Thanks

  • Ms. Namra Sarwar


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