Purpose: To determine trait autonomy based on three theoretically derived subscales assessing authorship/self-congruence, interest-taking, and low susceptibility to control.
Short description: A growing interest in the functional importance of dispositional autonomy led to the development and validation of the Index of Autonomous Functioning (IAF) across seven studies (Weinstein, Przybylski, & Ryan, 2012). The IAF provides a brief and reliable measure of trait autonomy based on three theoretically derived subscales assessing authorship/self-congruence, interest-taking, and low susceptibility to control.
Authorship/congruence reflects how much one views oneself as the author of behavior and experiences high consistency among behaviors, attitudes, and traits. Interest-taking concerns an ongoing insight into oneself and one’s experience in an open and non-judgmental manner. Lastly, low susceptibility to control refers to the absence of internal and external pressures as motivators for behaviors. Initial validation studies showed consistency within and across subscales, and appropriate placement within a nomological network of constructs. Diary studies demonstrated IAF relations with higher well-being, greater daily satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and more autonomous engagement in daily activities. Using an experimental approach, the IAF was shown to predict more positive interactions among dyads.
Instructions: “Below is a collection of statements about your general experiences. Please indicate how true each statement is of your experiences on the whole. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. Please answer according to what really reflects your experience rather than what you think your experience should be.” Items were paired with a Likert-type scale with 1 = “not at all true”, 2 = “a bit true”, 3 = “somewhat true”, 4 = “mostly true”, and 5 = “completely true.”
- My decisions represent my most important values and feelings (authorship/self-congruence subscale)
- I often reflect on why I react the way I do (interest-taking)
Paid or free: Free? Must have an account to download
Results showed consistency within and across subscales, and appropriate placement within a nomological network of constructs.
Weinstein et al. included 7 different studies in their study– see their article for more specific values of reliability and validity.
- Educational institutions
Type of measurement: Questionnaire
- Personal development
- Workplace professional development
- Learner plans
- Pre- and post- test evaluations of an intervention
Ease of implementation: Easy. 15 items (3 subscales, 5 items each), est. 12 min.
- Minimal time commitment
- Easy to take, administer, and score
- Predictive nature
Studies this has been used in:
- Deci, E. L., Connell, J. P., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Self-determination in a work organization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 580-590.
- Weinstein, N., Przybylski, A. K., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). The index of autonomous functioning: Development of a scale of human autonomy. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 397-413. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2012.03.007