Motivation/Task Value Scale for Children

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The Task Value Scale for children (TVS-C) by Aunola, Nurmi and collaborators measures children's task motivation and it is based on Eccles et al. (1983) [1]

Children's task-motivation was assessed in an interview using the Task-Value Scale for Children (TVS-C; Nurmi & Aunola, 1999), which is based on the ideas presented by Eccles (1983). The scale consisted of 9 items measuring children's task-motivation (i.e. interest in or liking for a particular subject) in reading (3 items), writing (3 items), and math (3 items), separately (e.g. “How much do you like math?”; “How much do you like doing math-related tasks at school?”; “How much do you like doing math-related tasks at home?”). In the measurement procedure, the children were first read the question. Then, they were shown a set of five faces drawn to depict an evaluative scale running from very positive to very negative. The children were then asked to point out the picture which most describes their liking for a particular subject (picture of unhappy face/1 = “I do not like it at all/I dislike doing those tasks.”; picture of happy face/5 = “I like it very much/I really enjoy doing those tasks.”). Before administering the test, the procedure was carefully explained to the child, and the meaning of each picture was explained ( Aunola, Leskinen, & Nurmi, 2010) [2].
- Nurmi & Aunola (2005) [3]

Scale and instructions

‘You learn and do many things at school, such as reading, writing and mathematics. I am going to ask you some questions concerning different kinds of school tasks and how much you like them. At the same time, I will show you a picture which has on it five different faces. The faces go from happy to unhappy and reflect your liking of tasks. The happier the face is, the more you like the task. This, the happiest face means that you like the task very much and you enjoy doing things like that. This second face means that you quite like the task; this one means that you neither like it nor dislike it; this one means that you don't like the task and this last one means that you really dislike the task and don't enjoy doing tasks like that at all. So, your job is to answer my questions by pointing out the picture which best describes how you feel. There are no right or wrong answers. I just want to know how much you like different things and what do you think about them. Do you understand? Good. Let's start.’
- Nurmi & Aunola (2005) [3]

Items used by Upadaya et al. (2012) [4], i.e. the authors ask for reading, mathematics and writing in three different contexts...

1. How much do you like reading?
2. How much do you like mathematics?
3. How much do you like writing?
4. How much do you like doing reading-related tasks at school?
5. How much do you like doing math-related tasks at school?
6. How much do you like doing writing-related tasks at school?
7. How much do you like doing reading-related tasks at home?
8. How much do you like doing math-related tasks at home?
9. How much do you like doing writing-related tasks at home?

Response item:


The items are not reproduced in the original article (Aunola et al., 2006).



  1. Eccles, J. S., Adler, T. F., Futterman, R., Goff, S. B., Kaczala, C. M., Meece, J. L., Midgley, C. Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors Spence, J. T. Achievement and achievement motives 75–146 San Francisco: Freeman 1983.
  2. Aunola, K., Leskinen, E., & Nurmi, J. E. (2006). Developmental dynamics between mathematical performance, task motivation, and teachers' goals during the transition to primary school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(1), 21-40.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jari-Erik Nurmi, Kaisa Aunola, Task-motivation during the first school years: A person-oriented approach to longitudinal data, Learning and Instruction, Volume 15, Issue 2, April 2005, Pages 103-122, ISSN 0959-4752, (
  4. Upadyaya, K., Viljaranta, J., Lerkkanen, M. K., Poikkeus, A. M., & Nurmi, J. E. (2012). Cross-lagged relations between kindergarten teachers’ causal attributions, and children’s interest value and performance in mathematics. Social Psychology of Education, 15(2), 181-206.


  • Nurmi, J.-E, Aunola, K. Task-value scale for children (TVS-C) Unpublished test material University of Jyväskylä Finland 1999b.