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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1994 May;66(5):950-67.

The Work Preference Inventory: assessing intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02254.

Erratum in

  • J Pers Soc Psychol 1995 Apr;68(4):580.


The Work Preference Inventory (WPI) is designed to assess individual differences in intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations. Both the college student and the working adult versions aim to capture the major elements of intrinsic motivation (self-determination, competence, task involvement, curiosity, enjoyment, and interest) and extrinsic motivation (concerns with competition, evaluation, recognition, money or other tangible incentives, and constraint by others). The instrument is scored on two primary scales, each subdivided into 2 secondary scales. The WPI has meaningful factor structures, adequate internal consistency, good short-term test-retest reliability, and good longer term stability. Moreover, WPI scores are related in meaningful ways to other questionnaire and behavioral measures of motivation, as well as personality characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors.

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