“Why don’t they participate?” Reasons for nonparticipation in adult learning and education from the viewpoint of self-determination theory
Keywords:attitudes to education, dispositional barriers, lifelong learning, nonparticipation in adult education, self-determination theory
The study deals with the perceived reasons for nonparticipation in adult learning and
education (ALE), drawing on existing research concerning the motivation for lifelong
learning, adult attitudes towards education, and the study of dispositional barriers. The
aim of the study is to determine the subjective reasons/motivation of adults not to
participate in ALE and what factors influence their nonparticipation. For this purpose,
we drew on self-determination theory (SDT). Based on that we have created the research
tool “Motivation to Nonparticipation Scale” (MNP-S), which measures three factors:
extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, and amotivation. The empirical research was
conducted with a representative sample of adults (N = 943, age: 19 to 81 years) who had
not participated in ALE. Contrary to theoretical assumptions of SDT, amotivated adults
do not predominate among nonparticipants, with the main subjective reasons for
nonparticipation based on intrinsic or extrinsic motivations.
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