Children IMI Interest/Enjoyment Scale

In the PuppyIR experiments in Museon, enjoyment was measured by using the subscale interest/enjoyment of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI), a multidimensional measurement device which can be modified to fit specific activities (University of Rochester http://www.selfdeterminationtheory.org/questionnaires/10-questionnaires/50). The interest/enjoyment subscale is considered the self-report measure of intrinsic motivation and is developed for use by adults. This scale consists of seven statements that have to be scored on a 7-point Likert scale where 1 represents ‘not at all true’, 4 represents ‘somewhat true’ and 7 represents ‘very true’.

In the first study in Museon we used 6 of these 7 statements and translated the statements to Dutch. For adults the resulting scale appeared to be reliable but for children it was not reliable.

In the second study we decided to modify the IMI interest/enjoyment scale to make it more suitable for children. We used all 7 statements and reversed the negatively formulated statements. The statements of the modified scale are:

  • I enjoyed doing this activity very much.
  • This activity was fun to do.
  • I thought this was an exciting activity
  • This activity held my attention very well
  • I would describe this activity as very interesting.
  • I thought this activity was quite enjoyable.
  • While I was doing this activity, I was thinking about how much I enjoyed it.

In addition, we changed the answer categories: we used a 5-point scale with ‘Totally disagree’ at the negative end and ‘Totally agree’ at the positive end and we used the smileys of the Smileyometer. See Figure 1.

Figure 1: Answer categories of the Children IMI interest/enjoyment scale
Answer categories of the Children IMI interest/enjoyment scale

The seven statements of the Children IMI interest/enjoyment scale were mixed with in total five statements about collaboration and perceived competence that were measured with the same question format but that will not be treated here.

The modified scale appeared to be very reliable for children aged 10-12. The younger children aged 10-11 scored significantly higher on this scale than children of 11 and 12 years old, but there was enough variability in the scores hence the Children IMI interest/enjoyment scale is useful to measure interest/enjoyment from the age of 10. However, also with this scale – like with the Smileyometer – there seems to be a turning point around the age of 11: children aged 11-12 were much more critical in scoring their intrinsic motivation than younger children.

We do not know if this scale can be used with children younger than 10. It would be interesting to test the scale on a younger age group (8-9 years old) but from experiments with the Smileyometer it is to be expected that with younger children the scores will be even higher and will not have enough variability.