The Influence of Autonomy on the relation between Perceived Competence and Self-directed Learning in Firefighters
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This study aimed to investigate whether autonomy is a moderator in the relationship between perceived competence and self-directed learning (SDL) in firefighters when they choose additional training. Research suggested that a high degree of competence and autonomy are essential for SDL, which is a key factor influencing the ability of lifelong learning (LLL). Implementing LLL is part of the long-term plan of the fire brigade. In this study, 64 firefighters from Amsterdam-Amstelland were randomly assigned to one of three conditions either a group with one choice, a group with three choices, or a group with seven options of choice. A between-subjects design was executed to compare the degree of self-directed learning between participants of the different groups. The questionnaires that were used for this study, were from previous studies and consisted of seven items on self-directed learning, nine items on perceived competence, and seven items on autonomy. ANOVA analyses were executed. The results indicate there is a significant effect of perceived competence on SDL, no effect of autonomy on self-directed learning, a negative moderating effect of autonomy on the relation between perceived competence and learning self-directed learning, and a questionable relationship between autonomy and perceived autonomy.