TitleUtility value interventions: Why and how instructors should use them in college psychology courses.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSoicher, RN, Becker-Blease, KA
JournalScholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology
PaginationNo Pagination Specified - No Pagination Specified
Date Published2020
ISBN Number2332-211X(Electronic),2332-2101(Print)
Keywords*College Students, *Intervention, *Psychology Education, *Reading, *Teachers, Experimenter Expectations, Motivation

According to expectancy-value models of achievement motivation, a core component of increasing student motivation is utility value. Utility value refers to the importance that a task has in one’s future goals. Utility value interventions provide an opportunity for students to make explicit connections between course content and their own lives. A large body of literature suggests that utility value interventions are effective for a wide range of students (e.g., both adolescent and adult learners) in a variety of courses (e.g., introductory psychology, introductory biology, and physics). This review provides (1) an overview of an expectancy value model of achievement motivation, (2) a comprehensive review of the experimental studies of utility value interventions in psychology, (3) concrete pedagogical recommendations based on the evidence from over 30 studies of the utility value intervention, and (4) suggestions for future research directions. After reading this review, college-level psychology instructors should be able to decide whether the utility value intervention is appropriate for their own course and, if so, implement the intervention effectively. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)