Academic Motivation Scale (High School) (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 Intra-personal competencies
Applicable grade levels High school
Publication year for the most recent version 1992 (Most recent version)
Year originally developed 1989
Related measures
Measure Administration
Respondent Student
Method of administration Paper/Pencil
Number of items 28
Item format

Seven-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

Seven subscores are reported:

  • Intrinsic motivation to know and learn (four items)
  • Intrinsic motivation towards achievement and accomplishment (four items)
  • Intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation and engagement (four items)
  • Extrinsic motivation through rewards and constraints (four items)
  • Introjected regulation (self-regulation) (four items)
  • Internalization of extrinsic motives (four items)
  • Amotivation (failure to connect consequences with actions) (four items)
Scoring procedures The measure is self-scored based on scoring guide provided by the assessment developers.
Interpretive information No information available.
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 seven 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

Vallerland, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Brière, N. M., Senécal, C., and Vallières, E. F. , "The Academic Motivation Scale: A measure of intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation in education," Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 1992, pp. 1003–10017.

Vallerland, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Brière, N. M., Senécal, C., and 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, 53, 1992, 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, 27, pp. 365–366.

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

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

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


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.