Perceived Autonomy Support: The Learning Climate Questionnaire (LCQ)

PurposeTo determine the degree to which the target individuals perceive people in positions of authority–their teachers, managers, health care providers, or coaches–to be autonomy-supportive.


Short description: The Climate Questionnaires yield a score on a 7-point scale which indicates the degree to which health care providers, instructors, managers, or coaches are perceived to be autonomy supportive. Higher scores indicate greater perceived autonomy support. Each questionnaire can be used either in a long, 15-item version, or a short 5-item version.

The LCQ has a long form containing 15 items and a short form containing 6 of the items. The questionnaire is typically used with respect to specific learning settings‚ such as a particular class‚ at the college or graduate school level. Thus‚ the questions are sometimes adapted slightly‚ at least in the instructions‚ so the wording pertains to the particular situation being studied-‎-an organic chemistry class‚ for example. In these cases‚ the questions pertain to the autonomy support of an individual instructor‚ preceptor‚ or professor. If‚ however‚ it is being used to assess a general learning climate in which each student has several instructors‚ the questions are stated with respect to the autonomy support of the faculty members in general.

Sample questions: 

Instructions: This questionnaire contains items that are related to your experience with your instructor in this class. Instructors have different styles in dealing with students, and we would like to know more about how you have felt about your encounters with your instructor. Your responses are confidential. Please be honest and candid.

Sample questions:

  • I feel I understand club members.
  • I encourage youth to ask questions.
  • I listen to how youth would like to do things.

More questions can be found at:

Paid or free: Free (with registration)

Reliability/validity measures: 


  • High reliability (internal consistency α =.82-.92)
  • “Across domains, the alpha coefficient of internal consistently is virtually always above 0.90. The short form may be slightly less but has always been good.”

Validity: N/A


  • Health care
  • Sports management
  • Education
  • Workplace


  • Patients
  • Athletes
  • Students
  • Employees

Type of measurement: Questionnaire

Possible uses: Evaluation of authoritative figures (ex. instructors, managers)

Ease of implementation: Easy to distribute, but may be complicated to score. 15 items, est. 5 min.


  • Data is quantitative
  • Depending on the setting, the wording of questions can be adapted slightly


  • Depending on which version is utilized (15-item or 6-item) as well as the number of instructors of the class, the scoring can get complicated. However, after the computations are complete, the numbers are easy to interpret.
  • Negatively-worded items must be reverse-coded.

Studies this has been used in: Black, A. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The effects of instructors’ autonomy support and students’ autonomous motivation on learning organic chemistry: A self-determination theory perspective. Science Education, 84, 740-756.





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