Priming Motivation in a Second Language: A Preregistered Report


  • Ali H. Al-Hoorie Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu
  • Phil Hiver Florida State University


motivation, priming, preregistration, second language learning, within-subject design


In the field of second and foreign language education, conscious cognitive models of motivation dominate, while the role of unconscious motivation has not been studied systematically. Expanding the language motivation research to include implicit processes is likely to enrich the field of language learning and open up new contributions to current knowledge in this domain. To date little research has examined priming effects in the field of language learning motivation. The purpose of this study was therefore to contribute to this literature using a within-subject experimental design that aimed to prime motivation for language learning in an instructed setting. Specific aims of our study were: (1) to construct implicit measures for motivational priming in the field of second language education; (2) to examine the feasibility of experimentally priming implicit motivation for second language learning, using self-report motivation and attitudes as an explicit control, and to identify what effects this priming has on key behavioral outcomes. We preregistered our design and statistical analyses prior to undertaking this study, and then we adhered to our preregistration protocols. South Korean university learners of English (N = 244) responded to motivational and control tasks. Using a within-subject design, we measured language behavior (response latencies, number of sentences produced, and linguistic accuracy) in subsequent tasks, as well as self-reported motivation. We found no evidence of a motivational effect either in language behavior or self-reported motivation. While the initial results reported in this study did not support a significant role played by motivational primes, the study addresses important conceptual and methodological questions that are of interest to the field and which can contribute to growing work on second language motivational interventions.



How to Cite

Al-Hoorie, A. H., & Hiver, P. (2023). Priming Motivation in a Second Language: A Preregistered Report. JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING, 5(1), 1-14. Retrieved from



Research Articles