The effects of reward contingency and performance feedback on intrinsic motivation

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Abstract

93 high school students were offered performance or task-contingent rewards or no reward for doing hidden-figures puzzles. Ss offered performance-contingent rewards all received positive feedback concerning performance, and half the Ss in task-contingent and no-reward conditions received the same positive feedback. Performance-contingent rewards were found to undermine intrinsic motivation more than task-contingent ones, which produced decrements relative to control conditions of no reward, supporting E. Deci's (1972, 1975) control model. Positive feedback enhanced intrinsic motivation; this effect was independent of reward effects. A recall measure indicated that Ss receiving performance-contingent rewards remembered fewer performance-irrelevant details about the task, suggesting that rewards may affect the process of task involvement as well as its motivational outcomes. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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