This master’s thesis is a qualitative research project that explored the transformation of multiple individuals who initially learned for self-interested purposes, but later had a shift in their desire to learn so as to benefit others. The author collected rich narratives that described this phenomenon and provided insight into the following question: what is the experience of a learner who transitions from learning out of self-interest to learning out of altruistic purposes? The author found the following five major themes across six participants as they transitioned to more altruistic learning: humility, self-efficacy, resources, success and agency. These themes give insight into the shift of an altruistic learner’s perspective as they shifted from self-interested desires to altruistic desires. In doing so, these learners find the most significant meaning in learning by helping influence the recipient in a meaningful way and not just accomplishing the task. The implications of this research can better help educators understand principles of altruistic learning and thereby create opportunities for others to become altruistic learners.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Snyder, Aaron W., "Becoming an Altruistic Learner" (2014). All Theses and Dissertations. 5273.