Academic Motivation Scale (Elementary) (AMS)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure The Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) measures extrinsic and intrinsic motivation toward education.
Main constructs measured Intrapersonal competencies
Applicable grade levels Elementary
Publication year for the most recent version 1992
Year originally developed 1989
Related measures
Measure Administration
Respondent Student
Method of administration Paper/Pencil
Number of items 12
Item format

Five-point Likert-type items

Administration time

15-20 minutes

Available languages English, French
Fee for use Access may be limited or unavailable
Credentials required for administration None
Overall score reporting No overall scores are reported.
Subscore reporting Four subscores are reported: Intrinsic motivation; Extrinsic motivation-identified regulation; Extrinsic motivation-Introjected regulation; amotivation (failure to connect consequences with actions).
Scoring procedures The measure is self-scored based on a scoring guide provided by the assessment developers.
Interpretive information No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected Validity and reliability evidence collected from studies conducted with college students. (Vallerland et al., 1992, 1993)
Reliability evidence Internal consistency was reported for all 7 subscales (average Cronbach's alpha = 0.81, min=0.62, max=0.91). Test-retest reliability was estimated for a one month period for the subscales (mean test-retest correlation = 0.79, min=0.71, max=0.83).
Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Gathered through expert review. Translated items were reviewed by a committee, and items that had been translated appropriately were retained.
Evidence based on response processes
No information available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Two studies conducted by the developer support the existence of the seven subscales. This evidence was obtained through confirmatory factor analysis (Vallerland et al., 1992) and through an examination of the relationships among the subscales (Vallerland et al., 1993)
Evidence based on relations with other variables:
Results from studies conducted by the developer showed strong correlations between scores on measures of the same or similar motivation constructs. The directions of correlation were also consistent with expectation (Vallerland et al., 1993). Additional measures of motivation constructs include the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI, Gottfried, 1985), Nicholls’ Personal Goals in School Scale (Nicholls, Patashnick, & Nolen, 1985), Education Optimism Scale (Dember & Brooks, 1989), and Self-Actualization Scale (Jones & Crandall, 1986).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

No information is available in the references reviewed.


Vallerland, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Briere, N. M., Senecal, C., and Vallieres, E. F. "The Academic Motivation Scale: A measure of intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation in education." Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 52, 1992, pp. 1003–1017.

Vallerand, R.J., Pelletier, L.G., Blais, M.R., Brière, N.M., Senécal, C. B., & Vallières, E.F. "On the assessment of intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation in education: Evidence on the concurrent and construct validity of the Academic Motivation Scale." Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 53, 1993, pp. 159–172.

Dember, W. N., & Brooks, I. , "A new instrument for measuring optimism and pessimism: Test-retest reliability and relations with happiness and religious commitment." Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, Vol. 27, 1989, pp. 365–366.

Gottfried, A. E. , "Academic intrinsic motivation in elementary and junior high school students." Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 77, 1985, pp. 631–645.

Jones, A., & Crandall, R. , "Validation of a short index of self-actualization." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 12, 1986, pp. 63–73.

Nicholls, J. G., Patashnick, M., & Nolen, S. , "Adolescents’ theories of education," Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 77, 1985, pp. 683–692.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.