Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Lawrence Hanser, Sam McFarland, Daniel Roenker

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The effects of extrinsic rewards upon an individual's intrinsic motivation were examine'.; in this paper. Initially, four tasks (computer, geometric, letter erasure, and verbal) which have been used in past studies were evaluated for their degree of intrinsic motivation. The two tasks with the highest level of intrinsic motivation (computer and verbal) as identified by significant differences on attitudinal measures of task satisfaction and competency were selected for the second experiment. Manipulation of the extrinsic rewards (contingent, noncontingent, and no-reward) provided a test of the additivity notion of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Results indicated by analysis of attitudinal measures that the effects cf extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation are interactive rather than additive for an intrinsically motivating task (verbal). That is, contingent rewards have a detrimental effect on intrinsic motivation. However, for a highly intrinsically motivating task (computer), as indicated by significant differences on a behavioral measure and an attitudinal measure, the results indicated that the effects of extrinsic rewards nay in fact be additive. The discussion considered the theoretical and practical significance of the findings.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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