Effects of manipulating optimal challenge in a music intervention program on situational intrinsic motivation among people with intellectual disability


  • Amanallah Soltani
  • Samsilah Roslan
  • Maria Chong Abdullah
  • Chang Cheong Jan


Optimal challenge refers to the balance between the challenge level of an activity and the skill level of an individual involved in the activity. A number of intrinsic motivation theories assume that optimal challenge is an influential facilitator of intrinsic motivation. Some researchers attempted to prove this assumption among people without any disability, using problem solving strategies or computer game playing activities. This study was aimed at determining its effectiveness among people with mild or moderate intellectual disability, using a music intervention program with three conditions. The results of one way repeated measure ANOVA and subsequent comparisons in pairs revealed that the high level of situational intrinsic motivation in the first condition of the intervention program where optimal challenges were provided for the first time significantly decreased to a low level in the second condition, where no optimal challenges were provided. It significantly increased again to a high level in the third condition, where optimal challenges were provided for the second time. The findings confirmed the importance of optimal challenge in promoting situational intrinsic motivation, as mentioned by intrinsic motivation theories, among people with intellectual disability in a music intervention program. For implementing guidelines, some practical implications are mentioned.