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MELISSA ANN LUIS BA, Syracuse University, 2000 MSEd, Fordham University, 2002
Mentor Akane Zusho, PhD Readers Anthony A. Cancelli, EdD John C. Houtz, PhD
DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY NEW YORK 2011
UMI Number: 3461884
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I would not have had the opportunity to conduct my study using an intact classroom.iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to acknowledge the New York City Department of Education for allowing me to conduct my research within their public schools. Without their permission. I would also like to acknowledge the math teacher for all of the work he put into this research. the present study would not have been possible. . Without his participation.
iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Page NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS LIST OF TABLES CHAPTER I. THE PROBLEM Theoretical Assumptions Concerning the Effectiveness of Rewards Lack of Field Studies Statement of the Problem Research Question 1 Hypothesis Research Question 2 Hypothesis CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Social-Cognitive Approach to Study of Rewards Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT) Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET) Goal Contents Theory (GCT) Organismic Integration Theory (OIT) Causality Orientations Theory (COT) ii iii vii 1 2 3 4 6 6 6 7 8 8 10 11 12 13 14 .
v TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) Self-Determination Theory and Rewards: The Social-Cognitive Perspective Practical Implications of SDT Behaviorist Approach to Study of Rewards “Appropriate” Use of Rewards Introduction and Delivery of Rewards Learning Outcomes CHAPTER III. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Participants Instruments and Materials Perceived Competence Perceived Autonomous Regulation Intrinsic Motivation Quality of Seatwork Achievement Scores Procedures Ethical Considerations with Human Subjects Design Baseline: Week 1 Manipulation of Reward and Choice: Week 2 Replication of Directive with No Reward – Week 3 and Week 7 16 18 19 24 33 37 40 40 41 42 42 43 43 44 44 44 45 46 46 48 .
CONCLUSIONS. SUMMARY. RESULTS Pre-Analysis Data Screening Statistical Analysis Descriptive Statistics t-Tests Repeated Measures Multiple Analysis of Variance CHAPTER V. AND RECOMMENDATIONS Limitations of the Study Implications for Practice and Future Directions REFERENCES ABSRACT VITA 49 49 50 51 61 62 67 72 73 77 86 89 .vi TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) CHAPTER IV.
Means and Standard Deviations for Seatwork. Competence. 2.vii LISTS OF TABLES Table 1. Autonomy over Four Weeks and Achievement Scores Intercorrelations among Scales Page 53 58 . Intrinsic Motivation.
for example. A recent The New York Times article detailed. 1991). Teachers frequently use systems of rewards in order to promote appropriate behaviors and to increase academic output (Akin-Little & Little. Cameron. 1994. 2009). the important question is no longer whether rewards are effective or ineffective as it was a decade or so ago (Cameron & Pierce. This is especially true of novice teachers. a number of such programs including one that pays students money for doing well on standardized tests such as the Advanced Placement exam (Guernsey. Rather. . schools. rewards have staunchly embedded themselves into the fabric of our culture and society. Indeed. Indeed. Ryan. 2001). 2001. many first year teachers resort to using rewards in order to maintain classroom management in comparison to more experienced teachers (Newby. 2009). Many questions remain about the effectiveness of rewards. The use of rewards and reward systems are very common in schools (AkinLittle & Little. are often quick to turn to crude methods of motivation such as extrinsic rewards or punishment systems. when problems presumed to be motivational in nature arise. assuming that teachers will use rewards. 2009). and Koestner. the question now is. Deci. particularly those in high poverty areas.1 CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM For better or for worse.
Eisenberger & Cameron. who advocate limiting the use of rewards in the classroom. Koestner. There are social-cognitive researchers such as Deci & Ryan. 2000)? For whom and under what conditions are rewards effective? What are the long-term effects of rewards? What conditional aspects of rewards need to exist in order to increase intrinsic motivation? The purpose of this study is to address these issues. and often heated. 1996). 1999a.g. and Ryan. Theoretical Assumptions Concerning the Effectiveness of Rewards Even a cursory exploration into the psychological literature about rewards will quickly reveal two main perspectives. Kohn. The ongoing exchange concerning rewards has been lively. Deci & Ryan. 1972b. Although behavioral and social cognitive researchers offer valid arguments. Deci. 2004. there are surprisingly few studies that have actually investigated the effectiveness of rewards on intrinsic motivation in . and who largely oppose the view presented by the social-cognitive researchers (Cameron & Pierce.. The various proclamations either for or against the use of rewards in schools notwithstanding (e. presumably because the practical implications of each perspective are considerable.2 how should rewards be used so that they are not harmful over time (Brophy. Both perspectives will be discussed in detail within Chapter II. Central to this study is the question of generalizability. 1999). Lepper & Henderlong. informative. given potential harmful long-term outcomes (Deci. There are the behaviorists. many questions nevertheless remain. b). 1992. 1994. who suggest that rewards can produce optimal learning outcomes if used appropriately.
b. Joussemet. Pierce. Ryan.) have added valuable information to the field of motivational psychology and education. competence. b. Houlfort et al. achievement. Houlfort. and achievement. clear guidelines for using rewards in the classroom to enhance motivation are still lacking. Deci. . 1983.e.. As a result. 1985a). even the limited numbers of these studies that have focused on younger populations (e. For example. Nevertheless.. et al. 1972a. basic research seeks to understand the theoretical basis of specific phenomena in more controlled settings whereas applied research seeks to examine the phenomena in more naturalistic or less controlled settings (Israkson. Lack of Field Studies Both basic and applied research studies have been conducted to examine the effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation. 2002) were conducted in a laboratory-like setting. Koestner. conceivable that completing puzzles in a laboratory for a reward is fundamentally different than completing an important class assignment for a reward. Cameron. after all. 2008). 2002. Banko. intrinsic motivation. and Koestner. It is. Nantel-Vivier. the vast majority of theoretical studies of rewards on motivation have been conducted with college students in controlled settings (Deci.3 either intact K–12 classrooms or whole groups. 1972a. Deci & Ryan. By definition. etc.g. most significantly related to the issue of settings and field studies. 2005). Furthermore. 1999a. Information gathered from basic and applied research studies on rewards and specific variables (i. autonomy. and Lekes. and Gear. there are numerous shortcomings within this body of research on rewards. the tasks often used in these studies do not always resemble the realworld tasks that students confront in school (Deci. Mims.
competence. 1972a. Cameron et al. given the issues of achievement. 2005). Ryan et al. using real learning tasks. . In short. and environments that may not provide external validity or do not substantiate the link between rewards and intrinsic motivation. Statement of the Problem The majority of theoretical studies on extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation have been conducted in laboratory settings with tasks that are not germane to real educational settings. tasks. Field or longitudinal studies that examine the direct effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation in real classrooms. but not necessarily on intrinsic motivation or those actions undertaken for personal enjoyment or interest (Lloyd. 2005). b. Researchers have used puzzle-like tasks. 1996. many studies within both the applied and theoretical realm utilize populations. Eberhardt. which are not easily generalized to those that students complete in classrooms (Deci.. and Neddenriep. and Drake. Thus. 1983. 2002. 2004. and achievement. Other studies focused on effects of rewards on achievement.. Houlfort et al. autonomy.. autonomy. Cameron et al. Skinner. and competence. 2008. As with some theoretical studies. limitations within applied research studies can be noted. some applied research studies were also conducted with college students in controlled settings or employed tasks that were not germane to real-world educational settings (Banko.4 Similarly. motivational research is in need of more specific applied research studies based on theory to better understand rewards and intrinsic motivation and how educators can use rewards effectively in everyday classrooms. 2004). Williams. would certainly provide valid information that can be generalized. Chapman & Cope..
there appears to be gaps in the literature on the effects of whole classroom reward systems on intrinsic motivation. especially when the tasks are not similar to those given in real classrooms. 2009). the purpose of this study was to investigate the role of choice in the face of an expected performance- . and achievement on the other hand. Accordingly. intrinsic motivation. In short. a study investigating what effects choice may have on these outcomes appears warranted. intrinsic motivation and the ability to meet a set curricular standard as measured by the quality of performance in meeting the standard would be valuable to the field. given emerging evidence to suggest that choice of reward may be an important factor in the implementation of rewards and their ability to increase intrinsic motivation (Luis & Zusho.e. autonomy. Moreover. competence. In light of the numerous conflicting research findings regarding the effects of reward on intrinsic motivation as well as lack of research about intact classrooms using authentic educational tasks response to rewards on intrinsic motivation.e. on the one hand. regarding the class itself as one unit. whereas applied research on rewards and achievement has yielded information about the positive effects that rewards can have on increasing intrinsic motivation in laboratory settings and academic achievement in whole groups (i. a study that examines the effects of performance contingent rewards (i. those reward that are conferred as a result of a specific level of performance) on perceived autonomy. as opposed to focusing upon individual students in a class). and competence. It is difficult to generalize information and data gained in controlled settings to real world settings. more information is needed to understand the relationship between rewards used in real classrooms using real educational tasks.5 Furthermore.
It was also hypothesized that choice would have a statistically significant positive effect on intrinsic motivation by increasing students’ perceptions of competence and autonomy. (b) competence. it was hypothesized that choice would enhance students’ quality of seatwork and academic achievement given an increase in intrinsic motivation. Finally. Research Question 2 What are the short-term and long-term effects of performance contingent rewards with choice and performance contingent rewards without choice upon: (a) perceived autonomy. Specifically. (d) quality of seatwork. and (e) ultimate academic achievement? Hypothesis It was hypothesized that choice would have a statistically significant positive effect on perceptions of autonomy by giving participants control over whether or not they receive the reward. (d) achievement of the curricular standard. the following research questions were explored: Research Question 1 What effect does choice of a performance-contingent reward have on students’ (a) perceived autonomy.6 contingent reward for meeting a realistic curricular standard on (a) perceived autonomy. (b) competence and (c) intrinsic motivation towards the task and . and (e) quality of performance in meeting the curricular standard. (c) intrinsic motivation toward seatwork. It was further hypothesized that choice would have a statistically significant positive effect on competence given its positive effects on autonomy. (b) competence and (c) intrinsic motivation towards the task and learning concept.
intrinsic motivation. it was hypothesized that choice of rewards should increase autonomy. competence. (d) achievement of seatwork. what are the effects four weeks after the reward is removed? Hypothesis It was hypothesized that a statistically significant positive effect of time on the five dependent variables would be found.7 learning concept. and (e) quality of seatwork when it is introduced and then taken away? Furthermore. . and seatwork over the shortterm but not the long-term. It was also hypothesized that no choice of rewards should increase autonomy. and seatwork over both the short and long-term. Specifically. with an increase between pre and post achievement scores. intrinsic motivation. competence. with minimal increase between pre and post achievement scores.
and relatedness. or the impetus for undertaking an action for personal enjoyment and interest. First. 1985a). which are believed to be universal (Ryan & Deci. 2000). This section is followed by a review of the factors that have been shown to exacerbate or mitigate the potentially harmful effects of rewards as they have direct bearing on the design of the present study. through the three inner psychological needs of autonomy. whereas the opposite may occur if they are undermined (Ryan & Deci. a discussion of the two main theoretical perspectives about rewards is offered. . Most of this research has been framed according to self-determination theory (SDT). SDT suggests that intrinsic motivation and psychological well-being will flourish when all three psychological needs are met. a motivational theory that examines the social-contextual factors that facilitate intrinsic motivation. Social-Cognitive Approach to Study of Rewards Social-cognitive theorists assume that rewards have the potential of reducing intrinsic motivation by lessening self-determination (Deci & Ryan. competence. 2000).8 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE The relevant literature reviewed in this chapter supports the significance of studying rewards on aspects of classroom functioning and behaviors.
factors. 1999a). and absolute volition (Deci et al. SDT acknowledges intrinsic motivation is not a singular constructindividual differences exist within intrinsic motivation. SDT is comprised of five subtheories of basic psychological needs theory (BPNT). 2000).and varies depending upon environment. by contrast. comes from outside a person (external). A brief overview of each subtheory will be discussed in order to highlight key components of SDT. it is the impetus for undertaking an action for external reasons or gain. goal contents theory (GCT). . SDT and its subtheories attempt to identify and describe factors within social contexts that enhance and maintain intrinsic motivation and personality functioning (Ryan & Deci.9 SDT also focused on the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. 2000). and manifests itself through play. Intrinsic motivation cannot be initiated through external factors in a social context. 2000). Intrinsic motivation is present early in life. Extrinsic motivation. The five subtheories can be further classified into two categories of self-determination theory: autonomy. personality. enhanced and supported. and the intrinsic/extrinsic difference on the other hand (Ryan & Deci. relatedness on the one hand. exploration. and causality orientations theory (COT) that explain the processes. and social contexts in which intrinsic motivation can flourish. and interests (Ryan & Deci. competence. organismic integration theory (OIT).. but can be encouraged. followed by a detailed discussion of self-determination theory and the subtheories as they pertain to rewards and social-cognitive theorists’ perspectives about rewards and the present study. cognitive evaluation theory (CET).
both culture and the environment in which people were raised play an important role in how these three factors are realized in each individual (Ryan & Deci. Thus. it suggests that the relationship between psychological well-being and optimal functioning is contingent upon the concomitant fulfillment of three psychological needs of autonomy. Conversely. basic psychological well-being is enhanced when social contexts support autonomy. Ryan. and relatedness can be enhanced when pursuing and attaining personal goals that are intrinsically based (a goal that comes from within an individual. depression and anxiety. Intrinsically based goals are internalized (come from within an individual) versus extrinsically based goals which can be imposed by one’s environment.10 Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT) BPNT summarizes the relationship between autonomy. 2000). and relatedness and when people . one category of SDT. 1999). Sheldon. when extrinsically based goals are attained.e. 2000). Little. individuals tend to experience the opposite. Chirkov. competence and relatedness (Ryan & Deci. When intrinsically based goals are attained. with the presence of psychological issues (i. the significance of social context cannot be underestimated. competence. such as wealth. individuals tend to experience higher selfesteem and self-actualization. Timoshina. BNPT further suggests that autonomy. Ryan & Deci. Specifically. It also assumes that these needs are impacted by social contextual factors. Indeed. competence and relatedness on psychological well-being. and Deci. 2000). competence. like personal growth) versus extrinsically based (a goal that addresses something outside of an individual. specifically.
and ultimately undermine intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan. If individuals feel that they have a choice. it focuses on the factors that will enhance the fulfillment of psychological needs and by extension. 2000). Rewards were viewed as an external factor that could have direct impact on intrinsic motivation. with the main focus centered upon the relationship between both autonomy and competence to intrinsic motivation (Ryan & Deci. improve the quality of intrinsic motivation. Deci and Ryan (1985a) created CET to explain factors that may enhance and/or undermine intrinsic motivation. To the extent that rewards promote an external locus of causality (a reason for an action that comes from outside of an individual). they are more likely to engage in a task for internal reasons (enjoyment) versus external . CET also. specifically focusing upon autonomy and competence (Ryan & Deci. it was hypothesized that shifting locus of causality internally (making a reason for an action that comes from within an individual) will enhance intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan. it was hypothesized that rewards would diminish an individual’s freedom of choice (autonomy). 2000). Conversely. focuses upon the factors that will diminish or undermine the quality of intrinsic motivation by diminishing autonomy and competence. CET examines the effects social contexts have upon intrinsic motivation. More specifically. in turn.11 pursue and attain intrinsically based goals. 2002). 2000). Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET) Building upon the principals of BPNT. Many of the principles of CET emerged from the research about rewards (Ryan & Deci. 2002). These goals are culturally-based and typically influenced by environments in which people were raised.
Intrinsically framed goals tend to create a more enhanced engagement and increased motivation towards tasks and learning outcomes than extrinsically framed goals (Vansteenkiste et al. rewards).e. and short and long term persistence in learning due to enhanced psychological well-being (Vansteenkiste. conceptual understanding. 2006). and Deci. People tend to set more intrinsic goals than extrinsic ones because intrinsic goals are directly linked to satisfaction of psychological needs (autonomy. Goal Contents Theory (GCT) GCT focuses upon the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic goals and their effects upon both motivation and psychological well-being. 2004). In .12 reasons (rewards). Furthermore. and Kasser. et al. 2006). Of these two. Extrinsic goals (goals that are external or outside of a person. People that tend to set intrinsic goals also tend to have autonomous motivation (i. and relatedness). In short. Lens. such as financial success) and intrinsic goals (goals that are internal or come from inside a person.. Deci. competence.. Ryan. external reasons. intrinsic reasons) and those that set extrinsic goals tend to have controlled motivation (i. Both goal contents and motives affect overall psychological well-being (Sheldon. It also highlights factors within social contexts that could be detrimental to the development of intrinsic motivation (i.e. intrinsic goals promote better psychological well-being than extrinsic goals (Vansteenkiste.e. such as personal growth) account for basic need satisfactions.. et al. 2006). 2006). learning can be enhanced when activities and tasks are framed as serving intrinsic goals because they promote deeper processing. Vansteenkiste. CET attempts to find factors within social contexts that enhance intrinsic motivation by enhancing autonomy and competence.
. Deci et al. In order to make an extrinsically motivated task more intrinsically motivating. changing the act of doing the task from external gain (doing something to get something) to internal gain (enjoyment and interest). as opposed to being controlled internally by personal validation and choice) and introjection (the process of an individual understanding what is personally important. 1999b). An extrinsically motivating task. taking a test.13 short. that is. if explained in context to values. OIT details the process by which extrinsically motivating behavior can become more intrinsic in nature and examines the relationship between extrinsic motivation and autonomy (Deci et al.. OIT explores the ways in which an extrinsically motivating task can become more intrinsically motivating. followed by internalization and then integration.e.. personal choice. introjection must occur. 1999b). intrinsic goals promote overall psychological well-being and selfdetermination. or learning values and rules that people incorporate into their lives (Deci et al. 1999b). Both external regulation and introjection fall within the continuum of internalization. This is accomplished through learning value and rules. and validation. OIT specifies several stages. can become more intrinsically motivating (Deci et al. while acknowledging boundaries that are important to the collective).. Extrinsic motivation is needed when a task is not viewed as intrinsically motivating (i. and having personal choice. Organismic Integration Theory (OIT) Building upon principals of SDT and GCT. or the ability . First. OIT therefore focuses upon external regulation (behavior that is controlled by factors from outside a person. 1999b).
extrinsically motivated behavior that has become internalized can only be maintained volitionally (Ryan. 1994). and emphasizing choice can lead to integration. and approval). and Deci. Eghrari. Specifically. rarely engage in self-criticism. 1985b). Research regarding OIT identified factors that promote internalization of extrinsic motivation. Deci. In short. 1985b). How people orient themselves and regulate their behavior in their environment is described by the orientation they use (Deci & Ryan. extrinsically motivated behavior can become more intrinsically motivating when internalization and integration occur. COT focuses on orientation or self-awareness within the environment. and Deci. and (c) impersonal or amotivated orientation (anxiety concerning competence. gains. 1985). They tend to exhibit high self-esteem and self-awareness. (b) control orientation (focus on rewards. extrinsically motivated behavior can become selfdetermined (Deci et al. Patrick. Patrick. 1999b) and the need for autonomy is met. Williams.. 2009). and Leone (1994) showed that supporting internalization through conveying the value of uninteresting tasks. Causality Orientations Theory (COT) The role of autonomy is essential to COT. Three types of causality orientations (how people orient themselves within their environment) are defined under COT: (a) autonomy orientation (actions based on interest and valuation of occurrence). Furthermore. and have . Deci & Ryan. acknowledgment of personal feelings about the uninteresting task. When these phenomena are met. Connell.14 to internalize and carry out values and rules (Ryan. People who are autonomously regulated are aware of their needs and goals and perceive choice in achieving them (Koestner & Zuckerman.
1994). They tend to be more critical of themselves. 1985b).15 low levels of guilt (Deci & Ryan. attribute success to external factors. They also tend to have an external locus of control (not believing they have control over their environment). typically have an internal locus of control (attribute control over events to something inside themselves).e. and exhibit good overall adaptive functioning (Koestner & Zuckerman. . and exhibit hostile feelings (Deci & Ryan. people with an autonomous orientation tend to experience more developed psychological well-being versus people who are not either autonomously regulated or are impersonally oriented. societal values) or internal controls about how they must act or behave (i. 1994. are time-conscious. 1985b). 1985b). and have overall deficits in their motivation and self-system (Koestner & Zuckerman. In summary. 1985b). They tend to feel pressured to achieve. They tend to persist in activity completion based on self-regulation that is internally controlling (Koestner & Zuckerman. external values that have been internalized). and are prone to psychological issues such as depression (Deci & Ryan.e. They seek out control and perceive their environment as controlling (Koestner & Zuckerman. People with an impersonal orientation believe they cannot control their behavior or obtain their goals. People with a control orientation are regulated by external controls in their environment (i. They tend to exhibit helpless behaviors (Koestner & Zuckerman. 1994). Deci & Ryan. 1994). 1994). This type of orientation is linked to negative self-evaluation and low self-esteem. They exhibit confidence in their achievement.
16 Self-Determination Theory and Rewards: The Social-Cognitive Perspective The preceding sections of this chapter explored the basics of SDT and the five subtheories of BPNT. rewards have become an important focus for social-cognitive theorists. They may not be interested in completing the task and . If individuals feel that they have a choice. they are more likely to engage in a task for internal reasons (enjoyment) versus external reasons (rewards). Ryan et al. intrinsic motivation. 1979. and ultimately undermine intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan. many social-cognitive researchers have found that rewards decrease intrinsic motivation when compared to individuals who are not rewarded (Harackiewicz. 2002).. Deci. Social-cognitive researchers have found that rewards make people feel compelled to complete tasks in order to receive the reward. Deci. 2002). Research about rewards tends to support the social-cognitive theorists’ perspectives that rewards detrimentally effect intrinsic motivation. 1999a). Rewards are viewed as an external factor that could have direct impact on intrinsic motivation. and psychological well-being merits further exploration. it was hypothesized that rewards would diminish an individual’s freedom of choice (autonomy). 1972b. Specifically. Deci et al. in relationship to intrinsic motivation and psychological well-being. COT and OIT. it was hypothesized that shifting locus of causality internally (a reason for an action that comes from within an individual) will enhance intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan.. 1983. To the extent that rewards promote an external locus of causality (a reason for an action that comes from outside of an individual). but as of yet. Conversely. CET. GCT. the contribution of these theories for understanding the relationship between rewards. 1975. Because of their prominence in many social contexts.
These types of rewards and their effects upon intrinsic motivation will be further discussed later. 1975). individuals who receive controlling feedback and controlling administration of rewards typically report lower levels of intrinsic motivation than individuals who are given informational feedback and informationally administered rewards (Ryan et al.. When an individual feels pressured (loss of autonomy). Rummel and Feinberg (1988) concluded that rewards undermine intrinsic motivation as described in the cognitive evaluation theory. pay and awards) and expected have been found to decrease intrinsic motivation. The CET hypothesis that rewards undermine intrinsic motivation was extensively evaluated by Rummel and Feinberg (1988) through meta-analysis. with findings substantially supporting this hypothesis. their interest and enjoyment (intrinsic motivation). More specifically. they experience decreases in their perceived abilities (competence) and subsequently. The studies performed by . This decrease in interest in the face of rewards according to social-cognitive researchers stems from diminished autonomy (Deci. There is also evidence that rewards undermine intrinsic motivation for interesting tasks and free-choice behaviors (Deci et al..17 may not enjoy the process. social-cognitive psychologists believe that rewards are an undermining factor within everyday social contexts that decrease autonomy and competence and subsequently harm intrinsic motivation. 1983). 1999a). In addition. rewards that are both tangible (prizes. In sum.
some practical implications of SDT will be discussed. Teachers want students to initiate and maintain learning tasks. and Gay (1997) found that performancecontingent rewards undermine free choice persistence. but are being rewarded nonetheless. that is. In real world educational settings.18 these researchers do present troubling data regarding the use of rewards. Secondly. Firstly. Practical Implications of SDT SDT has many practical implications in educational settings. Intrinsic motivation. It is safe to say that students were not intrinsically motivated to complete the task. undermines not only intrinsic motivation but learning itself. Utman. (1999a) indicated the disastrous effects that rewards can have on intrinsic motivation in school settings. rewarding them may undermine that interest. . Deci et al. if a student is already engaged in an educational task because they are interested in the task. but rewards affected students’ interest in completing the task and following it through until completion. a classroom of students who are not completing assignments. and (c) perceive their teachers as motivated to teach the task and interested in students’ learning (relatedness). Fortier. be able to start and finish tasks independently. (b) feel free in their performance of a task (autonomy). 1987. rewards given for interesting tasks undermined intrinsic motivation (Grolnick & Ryan. 1997). Vallerand. In light of these findings. will flourish when students: (a) feel good about their knowledge and skills for a particular task (competence). that is enjoyment and interest for educational tasks. Thus.
focusing on strategies that enhance psychological well-being and needs satisfaction.19 According to the research findings. A behavior that is followed by a reinforcing stimulus (a stimulus that strengthens or weakens the behavior) has a greater probability of occurring again in the future. a behavior that is no longer followed by a reinforcing stimulus runs the risk of extinction (Skinner. A response produces a consequence. rewards undermine a student’s ability to motivate themselves. either positive or negative. Behaviorist Approach to Study of Rewards Behaviorists believe that rewards reinforce desired behaviors because behavior is a result of external responses to the environment.e. rewards have been a hallmark of the operant view of learning. Indeed. The idea that learning is a function of change in overt behavior is the premise of behaviorism. One of the unique characteristics of stimulus response theory is that it attempts to provide behavioral explanations for a broad range of cognitive . however. 1999a). Although a teacher may find using rewards to be beneficial in the short-term (i. SDT acknowledges that rewards can change behavior by means of control (Deci et al. 1999a). the implications for using rewards in a classroom setting present a conundrum. 1953. along with optimizing active engagement in learning.. quick classroom management). Furthermore. 1954). including Skinner’s stimulus response theory. could be an alternative to the use of rewards in classrooms (Deci et al. Conversely. reliance on rewards to make students interested in learning). Stimulus response theory presupposes that changes in behavior are the result of an individual's response to events (stimuli) that occur in the environment. the long-term effects can be catastrophic (i. 1950.e..
competence. . and intrinsic motivation. That is. competence. 1999a). 1999a). Individuals are more motivated to perform a desired behavior in the face of a reinforcing stimulus and to avoid punishment. does not assume that rewards undermine and reduce perceived self-determination (Eisenberger et al. unlike CET. 1996). individuals desire self-fulfillment and are motivated to obtain it.. 1999a). Pierce. Any factors that may disrupt feelings of autonomy. competence and self-determination contribute to intrinsic motivation (Eisenberger et al. GIT and CET share many of the same characteristics. Human satisfaction is achieved through pursuit of autonomy and competence. will subsequently affect the ultimate motivation of reaching one’s potential. For example. behaviorist researchers developed general interest theory (GIT) in order to address how rewards enhance intrinsic motivation (Eisenberger. GIT combines behaviorists’ beliefs with aspects of social-cognitive perspectives.. Furthermore. and intrinsic motivation are enhanced. From the GIT perspective.20 phenomena. Skinner explained drive (motivation) in terms of deprivation and reinforcement schedules. rewards actually increase selfdetermination perceptions (Eisenberger & Cameron.. contention has emerged regarding the role of rewards and their effects upon intrinsic motivation. GIT. Both believe that people self-actualize and are self-determined when autonomy. GIT is multi-faceted and incorporates the European Romanticist’s perspective that individuals are motivated to self-actualize and are disturbed when self-determination is threatened (Eisenberger et al. Inspired by Skinner’s work. and Cameron. 1999a). This increase stems from two main premises. However.
a reward does not have the power to make a recipient perform a task. In summary. not reward givers. That is. 1999b).21 The first premise of GIT states that rewards convey the reward givers lack of control over the performance of the reward recipient and their choice to accept the reward and perform the desired behavior or task. chose to perform tasks and choose how well they perform them. research regarding reward giver’s lack of control as it pertains to GIT has found that autonomy and intrinsic motivation are not automatically undermined by rewards. but it does not control their choices (Eisenberger. according to their abilities. Therefore. Furthermore. The recipient can choose to perform a task or not perform a task and can choose how much effort he or she will put forth. The reward may enhance the intended reward recipients’ decision making (i. neither the reward nor the reward giver has the ability to control performance or the motivation to perform. they simply will not do it (Eisenberger et al. Essentially. the reward recipient has the option to decline the reward and not fulfill the requested behavior. 1999b). rewards as defined within GIT give control to the reward recipient and not the reward giver. the reward giver has no control over the reward recipient’s performance. (1999a. Eisenberger et al. Nevertheless. If a recipient does not want to engage in a behavior or a task. and Cameron. The rewarded participants did not perceive themselves ..e. they may be more motivated to do well in order to get the reward). Specifically. b) found that college students who were rewarded for completing a specific task reported an increase in both perceived self-determination and task interest as well as in the free time spent completing the task after the reward was withdrawn in comparison to a control group who did not receive a reward. Rhoades. reward recipients.
presumes that rewards undermine a person’s autonomy because they do not perceive control over their behavior. When the absence of choice exists. participants perceive control over their behavior and their choices (Eisenberger et al. and neither of these is undermined by rewards... the way that the reward is presented conveys the task’s importance and can affect the reward recipient’s choice both to engage in the . 1999b). 1999a). The enhancement of autonomy through rewards as postulated by GIT follows Skinner’s (1953) operant learning theory stating that external factors influence internal mechanisms. (1999a) study.22 as being controlled by the task giver.. although participants were not told that they had a choice to complete the task or not in the Eisenberger et al. but rather should increase it because it reinforces feelings of control. according to GIT. 2005). That is. (2005) discovered that people enjoy receiving rewards and by receiving rewards. In short. 2002). Cameron et al. should not undermine autonomy. GIT implies that this knowledge is inherent to most people. on the other hand. rewards do not produce the proverbial “gun to one’s head” phenomenon. research has shown that rewards can decrease autonomy (Houlfort et al. Choice mediates this phenomenon (Cameron et al. participants did not report feeling controlled or pressured. The second premise of GIT builds upon the first premise (rewards give control to the reward recipient). CET. Individual perceptions that are influenced from external environmental factors or stimuli may increase or decrease a behavioral response. but suggests that rewards can also increase perceived selfdetermination depending upon the recipient’s perception of the importance of the task (Eisenberger et al. Furthermore.. A reward.
then individuals will not perceive that the task satisfies needs (Eisenberger et al. 1999a). If a task is presented as trivial... 1991). 1999a). . When individuals’ perception of competence is enhanced by external factors. then participants will treat it with more interest (Eisenberger et al. then intrinsic motivation will be enhanced. If this importance helps to satisfy individual needs and wants. if the task is presented as having importance. Furthermore.. The role of competence in increasing intrinsic motivation is an important component of GIT’s second premise.. However.. the external reinforcers (rewards and importance of completing standard) conveyed greater personal competence. 1999a). According to GIT. rewards given for task participation in a trivial task or for meeting a vague standard would convey irrelevance to competence and the task giver’s low valuation of the task (Eisenberger et al. In contrast. Research about this second premise of GIT has found that intrinsic motivation can be increased if it is linked to task importance (Eisenberger et al. if the task is presented as trivial or unimportant. specifically. then participants will perceive competence in themselves because they met criteria that was presented as signifying competence and importance (Eisenberger et al. intrinsic motivation can be increased. which has been referred to as “competence valuation” (Harackiewicz & Sansone. Conversely. rewards can cause people to care about doing well on a task. 1999a). if rewards are presented for meeting or exceeding a standard (performance-contingent) and the standard is presented as important. 1999a).23 task and to determine the amount of effort to expend. then participants will treat it as not important.
24 Bandura (1997) suggested that intrinsic motivation can be increased by performance-contingent rewards because they lead people to believe they are competent. namely the various types of rewards. Witzel & Mercer. Eisenberger et al. when rewards convey task importance and are presented for meeting or exceeding a specific standard. “Appropriate” Use of Rewards A discussion concerning the appropriate use of rewards necessitates further attention be given to several factors. This fundamental choice shifts control from the reward giver to the reward recipient. Most researchers would agree that simply giving rewards without thought as to how they are delivered and what they are delivered for will undermine intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan. In conclusion. behavioral theorists and other proponents of GIT believe that rewards do not automatically undermine motivation by decreasing competence and autonomy. rewards that are given for vaguely set standards or for participating in a task will undermine intrinsic motivation (Eisenberger et al.. Rewards given for meeting or exceeding a specific standard of performance can produce competence because the reward recipients acknowledge that they were capable of meeting a performance standard. 1985a. 1999a. In contrast. 1999a) because the reward is not linked directly to performance. 2003). the manner . but can actually enhance them both. perceptions of competence can be enhanced and subsequently intrinsic motivation. Autonomy is not undermined by rewards because the reward recipient has a choice as to whether or not to engage in a task or accept the reward.. which in turn will not produce competence. In sum.
e. achievement and task performance) under which rewards are given (Brophy. pairing a piece of candy (tangible reward) or verbal praise (intangible reward) with completing a class assignment may enhance performance of the class assignment and cause participants to feel competent because they completed the assignment. 2007).. The ways in which both tangible and intangible rewards are administered (i. as well as. and Dweck. perceptions of confidence (Unikel et al. 1969. and Adams. 1969). Markman. Arce. Each type of reward has been found to have different effects on intrinsic motivation and performance.” (the personal attribute is test taking) versus “You did a good job on this test. Tangible rewards are nonsocial and monetary. That is. salient or nonsalient ones. and not personal attributes. There are: tangible or intangible (verbal) ones.” . Cimpian. An intangible reward needs to be linked with performance. There are many different types of rewards. Research on tangible and intangible rewards tends to suggest both detrimental and positive effects on performance and intrinsic motivation. and the learning outcomes (i. Each reward type will be discussed. Specifically. expected or unexpected ones. with conflicting findings at times. to be told “You’re a good test taker. For example. performance may be enhanced. like praise and encouragement (Unikel.e. and equitable or inequitable ones. 2004). Strain. like a piece of candy or tokens. when a tangible or intangible reward is paired with a desired behavior. Intangible rewards are social and nonmonetary. followed by research that explains their effects on intrinsic motivation and performance.25 in which rewards are introduced and delivered. controlling or informational ones. method of presentation) appears to be an important caveat regarding their impact upon performance and competence.
. but also detrimental effects. it can affect outcomes of performance and intrinsic motivation positively or negatively. a sticker).. tangible) are more salient than verbal rewards (intangible) and should be more detrimental to intrinsic motivation because they call too much attention to the reward versus the task (Hennessey & Amabile. Deci and Ryan (1985a). b). and Nisbett (1973) suggest that certain types of rewards (i. pay. and awards have been found to decrease feelings of intrinsic motivation towards the desired task (Deci et al. which do not have alluring effects. 1988). The method of presentation is important (linking the reward to a specific performance. Salient rewards are those that are attractive and call attention to themselves (i.e. 1999a. Salient rewards will increase perceptions of low self-determination (Deci & Ryan. some research studies indicate that tangible rewards are detrimental to the development of intrinsic motivation.e. 1973). Greene. In sum. both tangible and intangible rewards can have positive effects on performance and intrinsic motivation. and Lepper.26 (the performance is a “good job” on the test) can be detrimental to personality functioning and can decrease interest and performance (Cimpian et al.. Research has found mixed results for the effects of both types of rewards regarding intrinsic motivation and performance. . 1999a). not a personal attribute). On the other hand. Specifically.e. money). 1985a) and will increase the reward’s controlling aspect over behavior (Lepper et al. A tangible reward needs to be linked to a specific standard of performance that is conveyed as important (Eisenberger et al.. Amabile (1983). Giving people prizes. 2007). versus nonsalient rewards (i.
1997). It appears that both salient and nonsalient rewards can have both positive and negative effects on intrinsic motivation. research also suggests that salient rewards can enhance intrinsic motivation and performance. and engagement. nonsalient rewards given for initial task completion may affect task performance of subsequent tasks. suggesting that salient rewards are not harmful to creativity or intrinsic motivation. Salient rewards that are paired with specific performance standards appear to yield more creative performance than salient rewards given for uncreative performance. salient rewards can decrease immediate and subsequent task engagement (Ross. salient reward was given to children for their performance on a task. In summary. This may enhance or decrease intrinsic motivation. causing either feelings of control or increased interest. Specifically. their creative performance on a second task increased (Eisenberger & Armeli. performance. 1988). However. 1997). On the other hand.27 Furthermore. Salient rewards may call attention to a task and/or a desired behavior. 1975). salient reward also increased intrinsic motivation and only decreased interest for children rewarded for uncreative performance (Eisenberger & Armeli. . research on salient and nonsalient rewards has produced mixed results. especially when compared to initial performance that was not rewarded (Hennessey & Amabile. research has also found that nonsalient rewards can increase immediate and subsequent task engagement over time (Ross. Research also found mixed results for the effects of nonsalient rewards on intrinsic motivation and performance. Furthermore. 1975). Eisenberger and Armeli (1997) found that when a large. the larger.
Similar to other reward types. Unexpected rewards are given without notice.28 Research has also found similar results for nonsalient rewards. research has found mixed effects for expected and unexpected rewards on intrinsic motivation and performance. McGraw and Fiala (1982) found that 86% of the unexpected reward group returned to their interrupted task. as their name implies. 1979). 1975). proposed by Ovsiankina (1928). a hypothesis that most people will return to an interrupted task instead of abandoning it. whereas only 58% of the expected reward group returned to their interrupted task. the recipient does not know that their behavior or action will be rewarded. The researchers examined rewards on the Zeigarnik effect. McGraw and Fiala (1982) examined the effects of expected and unexpected rewards on participants’ decision to return to an interrupted task. Similarly. but may also reduce the quality of task performance. Some researchers have found negative effects upon decision making and intrinsic motivation from both expected and unexpected rewards. rewards that are assumed to be available. Expected rewards are. research has also shown that expected rewards given for engagement in a novel activity can decrease intrinsic motivation when compared to an unexpected reward given for the same novel task (Lepper & Greene. such as receiving a high grade because one has studied very hard. . Expected rewards can also decrease task interest for individuals already showing high interest in the task and can undermine task performance (Loveland & Olley. Nonsalient rewards may produce increased engagement in tasks.
Rewards that are informational and clearly state the relationship to the task and convey the task’s importance can have positive effects on intrinsic motivation (Eisenberger et al.29 However. Rewards that are perceived as controlling (i. intrinsic motivation can be enhanced (Eisenberger & Aselage. expected rewards may also enhance task interest for low interest tasks because the reward calls attention to the task and may make the task more desirable to individuals who were not previously interested or motivated to complete it (Loveland & Olley.e. In sum. make individuals feel compelled to behave or perform in a certain way) have been found to undermine intrinsic motivation (Deci et al. Specifically. 2009). Rewards may enhance feelings of competence and when linked to high performance (i. Furthermore. 1999a) through decreased autonomy. obtaining 4/5 correct answers versus obtaining 2/5 correct answers). It appears that giving an expected reward for an already high interest task may undermine intrinsic motivation for completing that task. when rewards are linked to high performance.. there are conflicting findings concerning whether or not expected and unexpected rewards are detrimental to intrinsic motivation and the desire to engage in a task.. 1999a). some research also suggests that expected rewards may enhance intrinsic motivation.e. However. unexpected rewards may not negatively affect the decision to return to an interrupted task. 1979). whereas an expected reward may decrease that decision. Furthermore. giving a reward for a low interest task or a reward for high performance may actually increase intrinsic motivation. they make individuals feel good about their performance. .
Deci (1975) found that tangible rewards can be perceived as more controlling and less informational than intangible rewards. Weiner and Mander (1978) found that rewards had an overall detrimental effect on task performance. Controlling rewards have been found to be detrimental to performance and intrinsic motivation. Eisenberger et al. which may enhance feelings of competence and performance satisfaction (Dollinger & Thelen. Nevertheless. Eisenberger et al. 1978). Participants who received a controlling intangible reward did not report an increase in task interest and engagement (Pittman. the informational aspect of the reward did not affect performance but did affect subjects’ willingness to participate in a similar experiment on the future. rewards that are informational can have positive effects on feelings of competence.30 Pittman (1980) tested Deci’s (1975) informational versus controlling aspect of verbal rewards. Pittman (1980) found similar results in that participants who were given an informational. intangible reward displayed an increase in interest and task engagement versus a no-reward control group. Furthermore. . Deci (1975) also acknowledged that rewards can also signify success at a task. however. (1999a) stated that rewards given for no clear purpose and not contingent upon some behavior or performance could be detrimental to intrinsic motivation. 1980). results from Deci (1975) found that tangible rewards were perceived as more controlling and had detrimental effects on intrinsic motivation whereas intangible rewards enhanced intrinsic motivation and were perceived as less controlling. (1999a) found that rewards given for vague performance (not informational) did not increase intrinsic motivation or performance. Thus. performance. Furthermore. and intrinsic motivation.
However.31 research studies have shown conflicting findings on the extent of positive effects informational rewards have on performance and intrinsic motivation. Ramamoorthy (1997) took a different approach to the role of equity and inequity within rewards. Specifically. 1963. (higher compensation to input ratio). In both cases. participants working as a team felt that . they will strive to reduce this inequity (Adams. are given to those who have performed the highest and usually go to only a select few recipients. 1963. 1965). Adams (1963. 1965). Deci (1972a) concludes that intrinsic motivation would be undermined because continued performance is based on inequity. they will evaluate the ratio between input and outcomes and compare this ratio to the ratio of their peers (Adams. 1965). Adams. Individuals will stop performing if they perceive themselves as being undercompensated with relation to their efforts (input). When individuals are faced with a task. 1965) created a theory on inequity that states that individuals evaluate their inputs and outcomes when faced with a task. rewards can detrimentally affect intrinsically motivating tasks. Inequitable rewards. cause people to work for the rewards and not for the enjoyment of the task. they will continue to perform (Deci. If a person perceives inequity in their own ratio when compared with that of their peers. 1963. if they feel unjustly overcompensated. Accordingly. Deci (1972a) argues that rewards. 1972a). Outcomes are compensations that a person may receive (money or independence) and inputs are all of the things the person gives to the task (intellect and effort. not on intrinsic motivation. specifically money. Equitable rewards are those that are given to everyone for the same performance. or equity rewards.
both positive and negative effects of equitable and inequitable rewards have been found on intrinsic motivation and task performance. Thus. By linking rewards to highest performance on a specific task or job. inequity in grading procedures may not be detrimental to intrinsic motivation because it causes everyone to strive for high performance. participants viewed the job as more interesting because performing well was highly valued (Stepina & Perrewe. Furthermore. Stepina and Perrewe (1987) found an increase in intrinsic motivation for inequity rewarded groups versus equitably rewarded groups. participants indicated that team members who were not working as hard as other team members should not receive the same reward (Ramamoorthy. In school systems. grading procedures could be viewed as falling under the inequity category.32 equitable rewards were unfair. study more). intangible. Furthermore. In summary. 1997).e. Both intrinsically motivated low and high performers strive for good grades and subsequently alter their behavior to obtain these marks (i. If the grading is normative (comparing one individual’s scores to their peers). salient or nonsalient) in their classrooms. 1987). . participants’ perceptions of work were enhanced by inequity rewards. only a small amount of students will receive the highest grades and not everyone will receive high marks due to individual differences. It would not be fair or even appropriate if only certain students received rewards (i. they still have a chance to get high scores and may be intrinsically motivated to obtain these. Equitable rewards may be useful if teachers decide to use a reward system (tangible. Although low performers may not always achieve the same marks as their high performing peers.e.
and autonomy. Reward salience appears to produce both positive and negative effects on intrinsic motivation and performance. Specifically. Thus. In this section. rewards that are informational appear to produce the best outcome for enhancing intrinsic motivation and performance. whereas inequitable rewards may be beneficial for individual performance. Introduction and Delivery of Rewards The effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation can vary greatly depending upon the method of presentation and delivery (Eisenberger et al. Reward tangibility does appear to enhance. and performance-continent rewards will be defined. the manner in which rewards are implemented and the effects of reward implementation upon components of intrinsic motivation will be discussed. .33 tokens or verbal praise) and others did not for engaging in the same task and meeting the same attainable standards. In conclusion. inequitable rewards may be beneficial when linked to individual performance. not undermine performance. taskcontingent. task non-contingent. competence. Equitable rewards may be more beneficial for whole groups. the design of the reward implementation has been found to have direct effects on intrinsic motivation. with researchers who studied this type of rewards offering mixed findings. Rewards that are expected can also enhance intrinsic motivation for low interest tasks or high performance. 1999a). whereas equitable rewards may be beneficial for whole groups participating in a reward system. along with research and guidelines of implementing these reward contingencies (giving a reward for a specific behavior or performance). Particularly.
.. Participation in a task does not elicit the same feelings as performing the task. Participants are only rewarded on their attendance and not on completion of a task or the quality of completion (Ryan et al. They are usually given for completion of a task regardless of the quality of the completion (Ryan et al. 1983). 1983). versus for participation in task noncontingent rewards (Ryan et al. Participants are specifically told that they will receive a reward when they finish the task or for doing the task. task noncontingent rewards do not place pressure on individuals (loss of control or autonomy) or make them feel compelled to participate. 1983).34 Task noncontingent rewards are those that are expected rewards given for participating in a task. An example would be receiving a reward when all five questions are answered (task-contingent reward) versus receiving a reward for participating in study that uses five questions (task noncontingent reward). 1983). Deci (1972b) used this reward contingency in their research as discussed above and found that task non-contingent rewards did not decrease intrinsic motivation. Weiner and Mander (1978) compared both task-contingent rewards and task noncontingent rewards and found . Task noncontingent rewards did not decrease intrinsic motivation because they were not perceived as controlling (Ryan et al. Pinder (1976) and Swann and Pittman (1977) replicated the Deci (1972b) study with both college and elementary school children respectively and found similar results. Similarly... Deci (1971. which in turn does not affect intrinsic motivation. Thus. 1972b) found that participants who were given task-contingent rewards reported lower levels of intrinsic motivation than those who were either not rewarded or given a task noncontingent reward. Task-contingent rewards are given for doing a task.
Danner and Lonky (1981). CET generally assumes performance-contingent rewards to be detrimental.. and Fazio (1981) all found that taskcontingent rewards offered for engagement in high interest tasks decreased intrinsic motivation for that task. GIT assumes that intrinsic motivation can flourish when a reward is presented in such as manner as to convey the task’s importance or relevance. task-contingent rewards given for completing or working on a task can be detrimental to intrinsic motivation. 1985a. Performance-contingent rewards usually convey skill and competence in the participant and can be both informational and controlling. 1983). especially if the reward is given without performance feedback (Ryan et al. Thus. or fulfills an individual’s needs.. 1983). Furthermore. Witzel & Mercer. with a more pronounced decrease found in participants who were given the task-contingent reward.. or desires. Enzle and Ross (1978) found that intrinsic .35 that both decreased intrinsic motivation. wants. there seems to be consensus between social-cognitive theorists and behavioral theorists that simply giving reward without any thought as to how they are delivered and for what purpose they are being delivered may ultimately prove detrimental to intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan. Performance-contingent rewards are given for a specific level of performance. particularly when they do not affirm perceptions of competence or are perceived as being controlling. 1999a. Harackiewicz (1979) found that participants who were given performance-contingent rewards reported less intrinsic motivation than the noreward/positive feedback group. Rewards are given for meeting or exceeding some set standard (Ryan et al. In short. 2003). Dollinger and Thelen (1978). Eisenberger et al.
(1983) further differentiated performance-contingent rewards into two subgroups: controlling (i. Harackiewicz.e. while task-contingent rewards. without feedback.36 motivation increased for participants who received a performance-contingent reward than those that received a task-contingent reward.e. Ryan et al. taskcontingent rewards and no rewards. Linking a reward to a specific performance (performance-contingent) versus participation (task-contingent) and explaining the importance of the task and the performance (informational) was found to be the better reward implementation to increasing intrinsic motivation. rewards that make individuals feel compelled to behave or perform in a certain way) or informational (i. 1983). did not. and Main (1985) also compared . Both controlling and informational performance-contingent rewards decreased intrinsic motivation when compared to a no-reward group that received the same feedback. and found that informationally administered performance-contingent rewards enhanced intrinsic motivation. controlling performancecontingent rewards reported significantly lower levels of intrinsic motivation when compared to performance-contingent rewards that were presented informationally (Ryan et al. rewards that state the relationship to the task and convey the task’s importance). Ryan et al. (1983) also compared informationally administered performance-contingent rewards to task-contingent rewards. without feedback. Tripathi and Agarwal (1988) compared performance-contingent rewards. Boggiano. irrespective of whether it was controlling or informational. Bessette. Furthermore.. Participants who were given performancecontingent rewards reported higher levels of intrinsic motivation than the other two groups.
rewards seem most effective for tasks that individuals may not necessarily engage in without some kind of reinforcement. performance-contingent rewards appear to enhance intrinsic motivation. Rewards have . In conclusion. 1973). 2004). 1984). Learning Outcomes Emerging evidence also seems to suggest that rewards are more or less effective depending upon the learning outcome. Performance-contingent rewards also enhanced perceptions of importance in low achievers relative to high achievers as well (Harackiewicz & Manderlink. for example. Results mirrored Tripathi and Agarwal’s (1988).37 performance-contingent rewards and task-contingent rewards and no-rewards using kindergarten students. They found that performance-contingent rewards significantly enhanced intrinsic motivation in relationship to the no-reward with similar feedback group. Research also suggests that rewards can be effective for increasing the intensity of engagement or persistence but not necessarily for improving the quality of performance or achievement (Brophy. In general. Furthermore it appears that people react positively to being rewarded for meeting a standard versus being rewarded for attendance. Intrinsic motivation was enhanced significantly by performance-contingent rewards. completion or working on a task. tasks that are perceived to be uninteresting or mundane (Lepper et al. Harackiewicz and Manderlink (1984) studied the effects of performancecontingent rewards and no-rewards with similar feedback on intrinsic motivation of high school students. but not task-contingent rewards or no-rewards. especially if they are presented informationally versus controlling.
also been found to increase the amount of time spent on more difficult tasks versus easier tasks (Gear, 2008). Nevertheless, research on the effects of rewards on academic achievement and task performance remains largely inconclusive. Can rewards actually increase achievement and improve performance? Early research found that rewards did in fact increase achievement on learning tasks. For example, low SES children were found to perform better on spelling tests when offered the tangible reward of crayons (Benowitz & Busse, 1970) and made fewer spelling errors (Benowitz & Rosenfeld, 1973). Benowitz and Busse (1976) found that when offered a material incentive, lower SES students’ performance increased from an average of 10 out of 20 words spelled correctly to 17 out of 20 words spelled correctly. Furthermore, test behavior was examined for four weeks after the material incentive was given, showing retention in effectiveness (Benowitz & Busse, 1976). Drew, Evans, Bostow, Geiger, and Drash (1982), Weiner, Sheridan, and Jenson (1998), and McGinnis, Friman, and Carlyon (1999) have all found that rewards can be a positive reinforcement for learning. McGinnis et al. (1999) particularly found that accuracy within math performance increased for students in the face of rewards. This would mean that students were showing greater achievement on the math tasks when given a reward for completion of the math task (McGinnis et al., 1999). In terms of task performance, research has found that rewards may undermine how well an individual performs on a desired task. McCullers, Fabes, and Moran III (1987) indicated that rewards may shift a subject’s reason for performing a task from internal to external that is, the reward provides motivation to engage in the task, but
does not increase enjoyment and interest in the task. Weaker immediate task performance would be the result because subjects are performing the task for a reward and not because they are motivated or want to increase their learning (McCullers et al., 1987). Lepper et al. (1973) found that when rewards were withdrawn, increased motivation subsequently decreased, which then affected task performance adversely. This suggests that rewards may increase motivation and task performance, but they cannot sustain motivation when taken away and thus, task performance decreases. In conclusion, research on the effects of rewards upon learning outcomes, particularly achievement and task performance, has shown that rewards may increase achievement for simple learning tasks (i.e. spelling tests) versus achievement of more advanced tasks (i.e. intelligence tests). Rewards may also enhance task performance, but ultimately cannot sustain it over time and may shift interest from performing the task well to attaining the reward.
CHAPTER III RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
Participants The 66 participants used in this study came from a sixth grade in a middle school in the New York City Department of Education. The sample consisted of 53% females and 47% males, between the ages of 11 and 12 years old, from an urban environment, with majority (86%) of Hispanic descent. All participants came from general education classes and included only participants who provided individual assent and parental consent in writing. The students were previously assigned at the start of the school year to one of the three sixth grade math classes based on their fifth grade New York State Math assessment score. Math assessment scores range from 1 to 4 (New York State Mathematics Test, n.d.). Score of 4 indicates that a student exceeded New York State standards for 5th grade math. A score of 3 indicates that the student met standards, whereas, scores of 1 or 2 indicate that the student did not meet New York State standards for fifth grade math and may not be promoted to the sixth grade (New York State Mathematics Test, n.d.). Students who received a score of 4 or a high 3 were assigned to one class (25 students). Students who received an average score (low to middle 3) were assigned to a second class (22 students) and the students who received
Furthermore. the perception scales ranged from 1 to 7. In terms of absenteeism. Week 3 had three total absences. Instruments and Materials All of the measures were adapted from existing scales developed by Deci.d. Weeks 1 and 2 had two total absences. Ryan. seatwork assignments are part of the daily curriculum to practice math concepts that are being taught. . No permission was needed from the test developers to use these scales as per the source (SelfDetermination Theory. n. In addition. Students were responsible for completing seatwork assignments given by the teacher. and their colleagues (Self-Determination Theory. there were no school-wide changes in the daily schedule and the study was run without any interruptions to the design and distribution of rewards and surveys. and Week 4 had five total absences. Students did not feel compelled to participate and could choose not to fill out any of the four questionnaires. n. as they are already part of the math curriculum.). Thus. When examining the total population used. the present study did not experience significant absences that would have jeopardized the data. Thus. the students were grouped by ability levels in math.41 low scores (1or 2) were assigned to the third class (19 students). All three classes were expected to do the same seatwork assignments and were rewarded accordingly and within the same guidelines as rewards were administered in the school prior to this study. which allows for negative numbers (see below). Excluding the autonomous regulation scale. a student’s learning was not undermined.d).
92 when used in the Luis and Zusho (2009) study. n.42 Perceived Competence Perceived competence was measured using the Perceived Competence for Learning Scale (Self-Determination Theory. and Deci (1998) and Williams and Deci (1996) also used this questionnaire for management of glucose levels.(Introjected . Williams.d).(2 × External))]”. In the present study. The validation of this survey was also found by .80 in both studies.67 to .87 to . Freedman. with alpha measures of internal consistency above . It is composed of 8 items. n. Perceived Autonomous Regulation The extent to which participants are autonomously regulated was assessed using the Academic Self-Regulation Questionnaire (SRQ-A).d).91. a four item measure that assesses participants’ degree of confidence to perform academically. In general. negative weights represent more controlled forms of regulation while positive weights represent more autonomous forms of regulation. An example of an item within this scale is: “I felt able to meet the challenges of completing 4 seatwork assignments this week.97 in Luis and Zusho (2009) findings. Reliability scores for this scale ranged from .” Cronbach’s alphas for this scale ranged from . which assesses reasons why students do their class work (Self-Determination Theory. Cronbach’s alphas for this scale were found for each of the four weeks and ranged from . A sample item from this scale is: “Why did I work on seatwork assignments in math this week? Because that’s the rule”. part B.75 to . from which a relative autonomy index score was calculated based on the formula: “[((2 × Intrinsic) + Identified) .
95 in Luis and Zusho (2009) study. A sample item from this scale is: “I thought completing 4 seatwork assignments this week was quite enjoyable”. A score of F was reserved for students who did not complete the seatwork or did not get at least two parts correct.83.91 for the present study. reliability scores for this scale were found for each of the four weeks and ranged from . due to lower achievement.89 to . . Alphas for this scale ranged were found for each of the four weeks and ranged from . they could score a C. with strong support for its validity found by McAuley. Duncan.62 and . This scale has also been used by Ryan et al. (1991) and Ryan et al. The teacher also let students know if they were in jeopardy of failing the seatwork standard and allowed students who scored 0/4.88 to . on a daily basis. Quality of Seatwork The quality of seatwork was assessed by the teacher using a 5-point scale which was previously established by the math teacher and in place prior to the start of this study.80 to . Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation was assessed using the Interest/Enjoyment subscale of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) taken from Self-Determination Theory. The scale for this study included 7 items and assessed students’ level of enjoyment in the task. to correct their work.82. Alphas for this scale ranged from . This ensured that students were aware of the grading expectations. If students got at least two parts correct. so they knew which score they obtained. Each seatwork assignment was broken into five parts.d. For the present study. The teacher kept track of each student’s seatwork and returned the seatwork assignment to each student.43 Ryan and Connell (1989) to be between . (1983) in their research. n. and Tammen (1989).
approval was obtained from both the Fordham University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Proposal Review Committee (PRC) of the New York City Department of Education. specific tasks that children would engage in. . 10 calculation problems worth five points. and contact numbers to answer questions. withdrawal procedures. The consent letter delineated the purpose of the study. methods. limitations. ethical considerations of the present study were safeguarded and met. The child assent letter informed them of their participation in the study and the withdrawal process. Although both tests were similarly formatted. the voluntary nature of the study. Both the IRB and the PRC reviewed the purpose. with a score of 65 or above considered passing. Achievement scores ranged from 0 to 100. informed consent. the pre and post achievement test content was different. the role of the teacher. Procedures Ethical Considerations with Human Subjects Prior to conducting the present study. Both tests consisted of 20 multiple-choice questions worth two points. In addition. risk/benefits. risk/benefits. By reviewing these components. written consent was obtained from the parents and the principal of the school used and assent was obtained from the participants. and the examiner’s qualifications. confidentiality.44 Achievement Scores Achievement scores came from the unit test given prior to the start of the study (Data and Probability) and the unit test score given at the end of the study (Integration of Math Concepts). and one word problem worth 10 points.
Students were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. Additionally. Two conditions were used: Group 1 (choice of receiving a reward) and Group 2 (no choice of receiving a reward). unbeknownst to the teacher. Design A 2 (group) × 4 (time) repeated measures design was used for the basis of this study. with a follow up measure four weeks later. and intrinsic motivation over a three-week period. The reward was also equitable because all students had a chance to receive it if they met the set criteria to receive the reward. . students’ quality of independent seatwork (the curricular standard used in this study) was assessed each week. Furthermore. Data for the seatwork assignments and the test scores for each student were immediately transformed to their assigned identification number. all surveys remained in a locked cabinet that was only accessible to the researcher. Each student was then assigned an identification number. competence. Seatwork was used as the curricular task in this study. not only as a control for potential confounds (such as variable completion of work outside of the classroom). Students in both conditions were asked to complete measures assessing their perceptions of autonomy.45 Confidentiality was safeguarded by randomly assigning each student to a condition. Rewards were introduced the second week and were taken away the third week. The reward given was expected because all students were informed that they would receive a reward if they completed the set amount of seatwork assignments at a specific performance level. with 36 students assigned to the choice condition and 30 students assigned to the no choice condition.
These scores would be used for the pre-achievement measures.. competence. Newby. students’ achievement was collected through test scores from a unit test prior to the start of the study and test scores collected from the unit test given at completion of the study. These components of the directive established the desired performance that the teacher expected from the students. The seatwork assignments were completed independently by each student per day. Achievement scores were collected from the unit test given just prior to the start of the study and the new math unit. Manipulation of Reward and Choice: Week 2 At the start of the second week.as past research has demonstrated (Eisenberger et al. the . (c) the importance of the seatwork assignments to understanding the math unit was expressed. Finally. 1999a. In order to control for extraneous variables. and intrinsic motivation toward seatwork. the present study began at the start of a new math unit. The directive included: (a) an independent seatwork assignment due each day. for four days and (b) each seatwork assignment must meet at least a C level (2/5 of the math equation must be correct). Baseline: Week 1 At the start of the new math unit. 1991) that conveying the importance of the task in a clear manner can affect interest. After the seatwork directive was given on the first day of Week 2. Finally. Seatwork was collected and scored as well. students in all three classes were asked to complete the various measures related to their perceptions of autonomy. the teacher gave each class the same seatwork directive.46 but also because it is considered to be a routine task that is given every day.
” (B) “You have a choice if you want to receive the reward or not. Each class .47 teacher then gave each student. which read: “You will receive a reward if you complete all four seatwork assignments at a C level or above (2 out of 5 parts of each seatwork assignment is correct). The seatwork assignment was different each day. Group 1 (choice of receiving the reward) was created by those students who received Directive A. You will still need to complete the four seatwork assignments. For each of the four class days. If you want to receive a reward.” This manipulation allowed for comparisons to be made between both conditions on rewards and choice. The teacher distributed Directive A and Directive B papers randomly. If you do not wish to receive a reward. students who met the criteria for the seatwork standard and chose to be rewarded were given the reward (a mechanical pencil). which read: (A) “You can receive a reward if you complete all four seatwork assignments at a C level or above (2 out of 5 parts of each seatwork assignment is correct). please mark “no”. please mark “yes”. the teacher gave the three math classes an independent seatwork assignment to complete.” This manipulation addressed the effect of the independent variable (choice versus no choice) on the five dependent variables discussed earlier. At the end of the fourth day. but the same assignment was given to all three classes. Group 2 (no choice of receiving the reward) was created by those students who received Directive B. in each class. a piece of paper with either Directive A written on it or Directive B.
students were given the same independent seatwork directive used in Weeks 1. competence and intrinsic motivation when the reward contingency was removed. These scores were used as the post achievement measures. . the teacher let each class know that no rewards or choice of rewards would be distributed that week. Week 3 assessed students’ perceptions of autonomy. the teacher gave the same seatwork directive to each class.48 completed a modified questionnaire (modifications were made to fit student perceptions after completing the four seatwork assignments). In addition. with the same reminder used in Week 3: no rewards/choice of rewards would be given. At the end of the fourth day. A seatwork assignment was given each day. students completed the same questionnaire used in week 3. students completed the same questionnaire used in Week 2. for four days. Week 7 concluded the math unit and students were administered the achievement test. Four weeks later. during Week 7. Week 3 also assessed seatwork behaviors and seatwork grades when the reward contingency was removed. Week 7 further assessed removal of the reward contingency on all dependent variables and determined if maintenance of intrinsic motivation occurred. At the end of the fourth day. Replication of Directive with No Reward .Week 3 and Week 7 At the beginning of the following week (Week 3). 2 and 3.
Univariate outliers were examined through both z-score analysis and box plots of each variable. The square root transformation for Week 2 competence did not substantially decrease skewness and the shape was left positively skewed.5 as per the recommendation of Hair. The z . and Black (1998) and box plots showed extreme values. Tatham.score values exceeded ±2. square root was used to further transform this variable.49 CHAPTER IV RESULTS Pre-Analysis Screening Pre-analysis screening was conducted on all variables to ensure accuracy and adequacy of the data. and homogeneity. normality. Thus. The data were examined for missing values. Because the z . univariate and multivariate outliers. After examining frequencies. Week 3 competence. square root transformations were conducted on all four variables. Univariate outliers were detected for weeks one through four for the competence variable. which substantially decreased . Frequency tables within descriptive statistics were used to assess the presence of missing data. and Week 4 competence were substantially decreased and met the requirement of univariate normality. The skewness for Week 1 competence. Anderson.scores were negative. missing data represented less than 5% of the total cases and were considered missing at random.
autonomy.001. p < . intrinsic motivation. competence. Both competence and competence transformed values are reported throughout the results and discussion.0. the remaining four dependent variables (seatwork.50 skewness and met requirements of univariate normality. plus competence transformed. intrinsic motivation. and intrinsic motivation) were analyzed for the effects of the two independent variables (condition and time). competence. Each instrument and measure used in data collection provided a score that was entered into SPSS. and autonomy were examined for each of the four weeks. There were no values that exceeded the χ² critical value of 39. used in this study. Through multiple regression analysis. A repeated measures MANOVA was used to further test Research Question 1 and Research Question 2. The assumption of homoscedasticity was examined through calculation of homogeneity of variance-covariance of Box’s M. An ANOVA . Statistical Analysis Data analysis was computed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) Version 17. and autonomy) across the levels of choice and thus will necessitate the use of Pillai’s trace in assessing the multivariate effect. Mahalanobis’ distance was calculated to inspect multivariate normality on the 16 variables. df = 16. competence transformed.002) indicated unequal variance-covariance matrices of the dependent variables (seatwork. Seatwork. Specifically. the assumption of multivariate normality was met. competence. t-Tests were used to compare pre achievement scores to post achievement scores based on condition (Research Question 1). Thus. A statistically significant Box’s M test (p < .25.
25 to 5. standard deviations. Furthermore. students did not report feeling autonomous during this study.51 was used to examine if a true statistically significant multivariate main effect of condition for intrinsic motivation was present and an ANCOVA was used to determine if this significance was present while controlling for the variance between groups over time.36 to 3.04 out of 8). In terms of achievement. Students reported feeling competent. as the mean for all four weeks fell within the negative range. .59 out of 7. with differences between conditions for intrinsic motivation during the first week.0.31 to -.34) fell within the B range. Descriptive Statistics Table 1 presents the overall means. The pre.0. the average pre achievement scores (M = 79.88) students before the treatment was introduced during Week 2. with a range of 4. standard deviations.08 to 4.97) indicated that students performed above the failing mark of 65 within the C+ range and the average post achievement scores (M = 82.and post-achievement scores. with a range of 5.and postachievement tests contained the same format. and standard errors for each variable by condition as well as the pre. These data revealed that most students performed well on all four weeks of seatwork. but were different tests.48 out of 7. Students in the choice condition appeared to be more intrinsically motivated (M = 3.0) than autonomy (range of -. and standard errors of the 16 variables and the means.48 out of 5. It should be noted that all students in the choice condition chose to be rewarded. Students reported higher levels of intrinsic motivation (range of 3.81) than the no choice (M = 2.
02.78.52 The z .scores for seatwork ranged between -3. .28. motivation ranged from 0.19 to 1. autonomy ranged from -0.73 and -1.52 to 2.98 and transformed competence ranged from 1.53 to .
10 .69 .08 .72 .53 Table 1 Means.11 1.76 .10 .13 .51 5.10 .17 4.00 4. Competence.14 .28 4.46 1. Intrinsic Motivation.52 .09 . Standard Deviations.51 1.48 5.63 .44 4. and Standard Errors for Seatwork.07 .57 .42 4.08 4.22 4.60 .21 4.28 .48 4.49 .80 .84 .12 .74 .25 4.70 .54 .26 (Table 1 continues) .53 4. Autonomy over Four Weeks and Achievement Scores _____________________________________________________________________ Measures M SD SE _____________________________________________________________________ Seatwork Week 1 No Choice Choice Week 2 No Choice Choice Week 3 No Choice Choice Week 4 No Choice Choice Competence Week 1 No Choice Choice 5.31 4.14 .19 .13 .57 .
03 5.03 (Table 1 continues) .33 5.29 .37 .20 .17 .34 5.52 5.45 .86 1.52 1.08 .02 . Autonomy over Four Weeks and Achievement Scores _____________________________________________________________________ Measures M SD SE _____________________________________________________________________ Week 2 No Choice Choice Week 3 No Choice Choice Week 4 No Choice Choice Competence (Transformed) Week 1 No Choice Choice Week 2 No Choice Choice 1.59 5.76 1.90 1. Competence.61 1.65 5.65 .23 1.23 .44 1.54 (Table 1 continued) Means.28 5.30 .22 .25 5.20 1.19 .33 5.06 .31 .23 1.52 1.08 .27 .46 .70 1.45 .32 .77 1.75 1. Standard Deviations.19 .20 . Intrinsic Motivation.53 1. and Standard Errors for Seatwork.
55 1. and Standard Errors for Seatwork.26 1.09 .48 3.20 .28 .59 .07 .08 1.06 .51 .61 1.24 .51 .27 .29 (Table 1 continues) .76 1. Autonomy over Four Weeks and Achievement Scores _____________________________________________________________________ Measures M SD SE _____________________________________________________________________ Week 3 No Choice Choice Week 4 No Choice Choice Intrinsic Motivation Week 1 No Choice Choice Week 2 No Choice Choice Week 3 No Choice Choice 3.55 (Table 1 continued) Means.09 .49 .29 1.89 3.58 1. Intrinsic Motivation.11 .81 3.48 .29 .75 1.63 1.47 1.39 .53 .40 2.70 .37 2.56 1. Standard Deviations.20 .89 3.88 3.01 3. Competence.56 1.56 .55 1.20 .61 1.60 1.
Standard Deviations.21 .16 -.50 .83 2.26 2.14 -.59 3.49 2. Competence.52 1. Autonomy over Four Weeks and Achievement Scores _____________________________________________________________________ Measures M SD SE _____________________________________________________________________ Week 4 No Choice Choice Autonomy Week 1 No Choice Choice Week 2 No Choice Choice Week 3 No Choice Choice Week 4 No Choice Choice -.16 -.29 .55 .36 3.62 (Table 1 continues) .31 -.03 3.13 .53 1.15 3.18 2.40 .31 .43 .21 2.51 .14 3.47 .35 .73 2.35 3.13 -.30 3.71 . Intrinsic Motivation.64 3.54 . and Standard Errors for Seatwork.50 -.04 -.19 -.57 .31 .56 (Table 1 continued) Means.31 .28 .50 1.41 .62 1.
Competence. As with motivation.62 11. . and Standard Errors for Seatwork.13 14.44 Table 2 displays the intercorrelations among these various scales.23 1. Standard Deviations. students who reported feeling competent and autonomous.00 9. also perceived themselves to be motivated for the rest of the study. Students who perceived themselves to be intrinsically motivated the second week of the study.57 (Table 1 continued) Means.97 80. students who reported higher levels of competence did not report feeling more autonomous.17 81.34 83.19 12. Further. children who did well on the achievement tests also scored higher on seatwork. Students who typically did well on pre achievement measures. tended to report these feelings over time. Autonomy over Four Weeks and Achievement Scores _____________________________________________________________________ Measures M SD SE _____________________________________________________________________ Achievement Pre No Choice Choice Post No Choice Choice 79.85 2. However.41 10.55 12.50 79.03 1. Intrinsic Motivation.55 1.35 1.53 82. also reported feeling autonomous and competent. also did well on post achievement measures.74 2. In addition. students who reported higher levels of intrinsic motivation.
14 .25 -.07 .29* .67** .02 -.03 -.30* -.POSTAC 3.92** .24 .23 . W3SW 6.28* -.70** .02 . W2SW 5.26* .35** .35** .57** . W3CO 10.47** .18 -.27 .32* -.09 -.99** -.76** . W2CT 21.36** .00 .15 -. W4CT -.99** -.11 -.69** . W3AU 18.16 .27* -.24 -.29* -.28* . W1AU 16. W1CT 20.29* .21 -. W4AU 19.36** -.98** -.66** -.53** -.39** .26* -.76** .17 -.16 -.38** .76** .16 .65** .60** .26** -.44** -.13 .01 .19 .26* .11 .80** -.17 .08 . W1SW 4.23 -.03 -.30* .11 -. W4MO 15.56** -.04** -.09 -.12 -.56** -.07 -.11 .06 .15 -.80** .39** .05 .15 .13 . W4SW 7.22 -.45** . W4CO 11.21 .24 .79** .14 -.03 -.00 .06 .63** .64** -.12 -.58 Table 2 Intercorrelations Among Scales 1 1.33** -.PREACH 2. W1CO 8.11 -.07 -.24 . W2MO 13.99** 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (Table 2 continues) .51** .01 .23 -.04 .16 .34** -.06 .80** .17 .27* .26 .40** .09 .45** . W3CT 22.31* .05 -.32* .22 .14 -.77** -. W1MO 12.21 -.44** .48** .18 .12 .42** .14 .02 -.26* .11 .09 -.69** -.28* .65** -. W2AU 17.10 -.35** .30* .07 -. W2CO 9.09 -.68** -.39** .39** -.08 -.27* -.32* -.22 -.20 -.31* . W3MO 14.28* -.15 -.25 -.13 -.02 .47** .51** -.22 .66** -.05 -.68** .18 -.46** .05 -.32* -.05 -.25 .29* -.06 .13 -.
03 -.PREACH 2.30* -. W2SW 5. W2MO 13. W4SW 7. W1CT 20. W4CO 11.48** .14 -.27* -.03 -.66** .43** -.38** -.80** . W1SW 4.12 -.24 -.61** .25* -.16 -.42** -. W4AU 19.57** 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 (Table 2 continues) .24 -. W1AU 16. W2CO 9.69** -.09 -.45** -.03 -.32* -. W2AU 17.45** -.67** .54** .51** .14 -.38** -.56** -.43** -.47** .71** -.43** -.39** -.03 -.54** .31* -.01 -. W4MO 15.37** .15 --.55** .73** .18 -.69** -.07 -. W3CO 10.15 -.50** . W1CO 8.43** -. W3MO 14.59 (Table 2 continued) Intercorrelations Among Scales Variable 1.55** . W3AU 18.23 -. W4CT . POSTAC 3.81** .55** .29* -.77** .17 -. W3SW 6.50** . W3CT 22.74** .46** . W2CT 21.78** .83** .46** . W1MO 12.35* -.46** -.68** .
W2CO 9. POSTAC 3. W3AU 18. W3CT 22. W1AU 16. W1CT 20. W3MO 14.60 (Table 2 continued) Intercorrelations Among Scales Variable 1. W1CO 8. W4AU 19. W2AU 17. PREACH 2.79** -21 22 (Table 2 continues) . W2CT 21. W4CT . W4SW 7. W4MO 15. W2MO 13. W3SW 6. W1SW 4. W3CO 10. W2SW 5. W4CO 11. W1MO 12.
** p <. W2AU = Week 2 autonomy. In terms of post achievement scores. W1CO = Week 1 competence. W2SW = Week 2 seatwork.001. W3SW = Week 3 seatwork.50.36.62. W2MO = Week 2 motivation. W1AU = Week 1 autonomy. W3CO = Week 3 competence. Table 1 shows the means.01. W4SW = Week 4 seatwork. W3MO = Week 3 motivation. Thus. W4AU = Week 4 autonomy. Post . Participants who were offered a choice to be rewarded did not show statistically different achievement scores when given a reward. POSTAC = post-achievement. W1MO = Week 1 motivation. p = . post achievement scores also were not statistically significant between choice and no choice of rewards. *** p<. Choice of rewards and achievement scores do not have a statistically significant relationship. and standard error for Group 1 (choice) and Group 2 (no choice) in terms of achievement scores. W4MO = Week 4 motivation. Therefore. W4CT = Week 4 competence transformed. having a choice versus not having a choice to be rewarded did not increase achievement. W4CO = Week 4 competence.72. t-Tests An independent samples two-tailed t-test was used in order to examine if the independent variable of choice was statistically different in terms of pre and post achievement scores.05. the difference between the means of choice and no choice was also not statistically significant t (62) = . standard deviations. W2CO = Week 2 competence. W3AU = Week 3 autonomy. group 1 (choice) and group 2 (no choice) were not statistically different in terms of their pre and post achievement scores. Furthermore. W2CT = Week 2 confidence transformed. PREACH = pre-achievement. W3CT = Week 3 confidence transformed. Results of the t-test for pre achievement scores indicated that the difference between the means of choice and no choice was not statistically significant t (64) = . WISW = Week 1 seatwork. p = . * p <. W1CT = Week 1 competence transformed.61 (Table 2 continued) Intercorrelations Among Scales Note.
Results revealed a discernable pattern by condition (choice versus no choice) for intrinsic motivation. there are no long-term effects of choice of rewards on achievement. (d) achievement of seatwork. It also examined the short-term and long-term effects of performance contingent rewards with choice and performance contingent rewards without choice on (a) perceived autonomy. seven weeks from the pre achievement scores. was found for the first . and (e) quality of seatwork when it is introduced and then taken away? Furthermore. eta-squared = 0. autonomous regulation. p < . A statistically significant main effect of condition. more specifically if students’ average scores of competence.62 achievement scores were taken after the study concluded.85. The hypothesis was that a significant effect of time on the five dependent variables would be found. Repeated Measures Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) The present study examined the effect of choice of a performance-contingent reward on students’ perceived autonomy. what are the effects four weeks after the reward is removed. the quality of their seatwork and ultimate academic achievement. intrinsic motivation and seatwork changed over the seven-week period and also by condition and if pre and post achievement scores were significantly different by condition. The hypothesis was that choice would have a significant effect on all five factors.62. as well as. (b) competence and (c) intrinsic motivation towards the task and learning concept. F (1. competence.34. intrinsic motivation toward seatwork. observed power = 0.025. 46) = 5. Thus. as well as. Repeated measures MANOVA was used to test the hypotheses.
Therefore.49. the increase in intrinsic motivation over the short-term cannot be attributed to the condition. p = . intrinsic motivation scores for Week 2. 46) = .89. p = .42.633. An ANCOVA (between-subjects factor: condition [choice. Furthermore.23.32. 55) = .63 three consecutive weeks. 58) = . were found.38. An ANOVA was conducted to determine if there was a significant difference in Week 1 Baseline between the two groups (choice and no choice) for intrinsic motivation. F (1. F (1. Because there were no significant interaction effects by time for intrinsic motivation. which is considered large as per Cohen’s (1988) guidelines. the significant main effect of condition appears to be from the group differences and not the treatment. F (1. an increase in intrinsic motivation over the long-term (beyond the first three weeks) was not found by condition.99. F (2. F (1. No statistically significant main effect of time. F (3.255. 58) = 1. covariate: Week 1 intrinsic motivation) was subsequently run to determine if the significant main effect of condition was present while controlling for the variance in Week 1 scores between groups over time.792. 62) = 3.022. although students who were offered a choice to be rewarded did report higher levels of motivation than students who were not offered a choice during the first three consecutive weeks of the study. Thus. or time. no choice]. Results indicate that after adjusting for Week 1 intrinsic motivation. p = . p < . and Week 3. p = . were not significantly different by condition. 50) . or interaction effects by time for intrinsic motivation. Results showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups during Week 1 Baseline. the significant main effect of condition was suspicious. 55) = . F (2. students in the choice group were more intrinsically motivated than the no choice group before the treatment was introduced. Thus. p = .07.
In terms of the transformed variable of competence. 1988).20.001. or statistically significant interaction effects by time. 49) = 18. eta-squared = .96. F (2. F (3. p = . 1988).31. observed power = .001. time.32.36.26. eta-squared = . This finding can be mainly attributed to the dip in Week 2 perceptions of the transformed variable of competence.17. F (2. p = .27.64 = 1. observed power = . 55) = 26. 49) = 1. When examining competence values that were not transformed. 49) = . 46) = . 46) = .002.106. 55) = 1. p = . F (1. F (3.15. p = . no statistically significant main effect of condition.75. there was a statistically significant main effect of time for the first three consecutive weeks. F (3. p = . 46) = . 46) = 0. p = . found for the first three consecutive weeks.75.09.68. F (1. 50) = . F (3. no statistically significant main effect of condition (choice versus no choice). these values were sustained beyond the first three consecutive weeks. was found however.51. p < .001.00. F (1. When the transformed competence variable was analyzed at all four points in time.51.22. no statistically significant main effect of condition. p = . which suggests that the values decreased between Weeks 1 and 2 and then increased between Weeks 2 and 3. In short.98. were found. Furthermore. the short and long-term effects of offering students a choice to be rewarded on perceptions of intrinsic motivation could not be determined because the two groups were statistically different at baseline. with an effect size that is considered small (Cohen. p = . with a statistically significant main effect of time on competence for all seven weeks.98. with a medium effect size (Cohen. There were no statistically significant interaction effects by time. F (1. or the interaction effects by time. or interaction effects by time. p < .
significant main effect of time.87.86.20.08.00.37.25. were found for all seven weeks.96.62. or statistically significant interaction effects by time.60. eta-squared = . no statistically significant main effect of condition. 46) = . p = . In terms of autonomy. Thus. Finally. 55) = 1. or statistically significant interaction effects by time. were found for the first three consecutive weeks. p = .97.29. statistically significant main effect of time. F (3.65 . F (2. p = . 55) = . 50) = . p = . F (3. F (3. F (2. p = . p = . p < .80. p = . or interaction effects by time. p = .29. Therefore. or statistically significant interaction effects by time. p = 1. no statistically significant main effect of condition. Furthermore. 62) = 2.65. Furthermore. F (1. were found for all seven weeks. students who were offered a choice to be rewarded did not achieve higher test scores than students who were not offered a choice. observed power = . F (1. F (1.07. statistically significant main effect of time. Again. Similar patterns were detected for achievement. F (1. competence values that were not transformed suggest that competence for all students did not increase over time or by condition. no statistically significant main effect of condition.50. statistically significant main effect of time. 46) = . F (1. were found for the first three consecutive weeks. 62) = .35. p = . F (2. no statistically significant main effect of condition. p = .43. F (1.00. These values should be looked at with caution because they were skewed and contained univariate outliers. p = .0. Students did not report feeling more autonomous when offered a choice to be rewarded and did not report feeling more autonomy over time. p = .59.47. which is .03.75. 46) = . were found. a statistically significant main effect was noted for seatwork over time. 52) = 17. F (2.39. 55) = 1.001.50. 55) = . 50) = . 46) = .24.13.
. but this was not affected by the condition of choice to be rewarded.01.38. 52) = . In general.92. F (1. Nevertheless. F (3.77. students performed better on seatwork over time.66 considered small as per Cohen (1988). rewards did appear to affect the seatwork scores in a positive manner. 46) = . p = . p = . No statistically significant main effect of condition. or statistically significant interaction effects by time. were found.
2005. AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of performancecontingent rewards in a real-world setting. the findings cannot substantiate heightened feelings of intrinsic motivation when given the opportunity to decide whether or not to pursue a reward. Such findings would have been in line with past research that emphasizes the critical role of choice (Cameron et al. Houlfort et al. 2002). The premise of this study was to investigate what effect. namely the sixth grade math classroom. CONCLUSIONS. if any. rather than being told that a reward will be offered. and intrinsic motivation. the choice of a reward had on students’ self-reported perceptions of competence. . Unfortunately. The first research question concerned the effect of condition (choice versus no choice).67 CHAPTER V SUMMARY. as well as seatwork scores and achievement over time. autonomous regulation. This study is significant in that it represents a field study on the effects of rewards in the classroom. the present study could not confirm this due to statistically significant differences between the two experimental groups before the treatment was introduced. Although it appears that having a choice to be rewarded can have some positive effects on students’ perceptions of intrinsic motivation.
one must also perceive that they are competent and are not controlled (autonomous). Houlfort et al. which does not promote or create an autonomous environment. Thus. 2002. students do not have control over certain aspects of the daily routine and expectations. In the present study. Luis & Zusho. 1975. & Pierce. It should be noted that no conclusive effects of choice to be rewarded were observed in terms of seatwork and achievement scores. which are key components to the development of intrinsic motivation. Thus. students reported feeling more competent over time. the increase in competence over time may have been due to this dip in scores and/or practice and comfort with a familiar educational task. Given the assumption that rewards primarily affect productivity over learning outcomes. In terms of autonomy. the factor of autonomy may not be supported well by educational systems. having a choice to be rewarded also did not affect perceptions of competence and autonomy. Furthermore. As with any other educational system. especially in educational systems. seatwork is part of the everyday math curriculum and students do not have choice to complete it. This is not in line with past research (Deci. the null findings for . Eisenberger. 2009).68 On the other hand. This may suggest that autonomy has an ambiguous role in the development of intrinsic motivation. (2002) found that rewards decreased perceptions of autonomy. which suggests that in order to feel intrinsically motivated. Cameron. while not undermining perceptions of competence or intrinsic motivation. Deci & Ryan. 1999a. but this was not due to having a choice to be rewarded and appeared to be due to a dip in perceptions of competence after the treatment was introduced and then an increase thereafter.
the present study cannot conclusively determine if rewards can increase achievement because there was no control group to compare the rewarded students to and the tests were not the same. Thus. competence or intrinsic motivation when the reward was removed. Furthermore. were different tests. No interaction effect of condition by time for intrinsic motivation. approximately half of the students were told they had a choice to receive a reward and the remaining students were told they were going to receive a reward. Thus. Because there was no control group. competence. being offered a choice versus no choice did not affect perceptions of autonomy. the reward was taken away. seatwork or achievement was found. being rewarded. Changes in achievement scores between pre and post . or if it is natural growth in learning. Recall that students in this study were given no rewards the first week. it was not surprising to learn that seatwork scores did increase over time and that achievement scores did go up slightly at the conclusion of the study. in the second week. Such findings notwithstanding. there is no conclusive link between this increase and the condition.69 seatwork and achievement scores were not necessarily unanticipated. autonomy. Seatwork scores did go up slightly over time. perhaps the more central question concerns whether the effects of rewards are sustained when the reward is taken away (second research question). and in the third and seventh week after students in both conditions had already received the reward. it is unclear if this is related to having a choice to be rewarded. In addition. the findings suggest that having a choice to be rewarded did not have a cumulative effect over time. the pre and post achievement measures. although similarly formatted. Overall. but as discussed earlier.
Taken together. it is important to note that merely giving students the reward will not necessarily lead to the greatest gains. the findings cannot suggest positive effects of choice on performance-contingent rewards in terms of facilitating greater feelings of intrinsic motivation. students who are more interested may not necessarily feel good about themselves (competence) or in control (autonomy). In addition. competence. even when the reward is fairly innocuous as it was in this study. There is an important caveat. rather allowing students to decide whether or not they would like to receive the reward seems to be the more critical variable that needs to be explored. First. The math teacher made sure to link the value of completing seatwork to students’ understanding of math concepts and . and autonomous regulation. however. Furthermore. Although the two experimental groups already showed statistical differences in intrinsic motivation before the treatment was introduced. if teachers would like their students to feel more interested. Theoretically.70 measures cannot be attributed to choice of reward because they were two different tests. the results from this study suggest that increases in intrinsic motivation can result when the task is presented in a way that conveys its importance. students offered a choice to be rewarded continued to report higher levels of intrinsic motivation after the reward was given than students not offered a choice. then providing students with the choice of getting a reward may be helpful. these findings confirm some aspects of both GIT and CET. in line with GIT. In short. while students may be more interested. such effects may not necessarily result in enhanced productivity or quality of seatwork and achievement scores.
while affirming intrinsic motivation. CET claims that rewards can make people less intrinsically motivated. results supported and did not support some findings by CET. it also did not decrease. In the present study. Students did not perceive that they had control. even when offered a choice to be rewarded. performance-contingent rewards that serve to affirm competence may offset negative effects of control or loss of autonomy. In terms of autonomy. this was not found. while not supporting findings by GIT. which supports aspects of CET and rejects aspects of GIT. offering a choice of . As previously mentioned. GIT suggests performance-contingent rewards do not automatically undermine intrinsic motivation and instead can enhance it. The present study showed that rewards had no effect on intrinsic motivation over time and did not show lower intrinsic motivation scores. Second. this may be due to the fact that in school systems. In fact. GIT states that reward recipients do not perceive that they are being controlled by reward givers because they have the choice to accept the reward and the choice to engage in the desired task or behavior. the findings did not demonstrate that autonomous regulation can increase when choice of rewards affirm competence and intrinsic motivation. As mentioned previously. In the present study. Furthermore. Students did report feeling more competent over time but did not report feeling more autonomous. students do not have a choice as to whether or not they engage in educational tasks. intrinsic motivation was not undermined and although motivation did not increase over time or by condition over time. students did not feel autonomous when rewarded.71 practice for future examinations. In line with CET. In the present study.
The population that was used came from a sixth grade class where students were placed into three separate math classes based on ability level in math. Quite possibly the reward did undermine competence. competence may not have been undermined. no-reward group does not lend to a conclusive link between rewards and competence in the present study. GIT claims that rewards enhance competence when given for meeting/exceeding a standard that is conveyed as important. These findings support both aspects of CET and GIT. which supports aspects of GIT. A control . In the present study.72 rewards did not significantly increase competence or autonomy. This does not support findings by either CET or GIT. perceptions of competence increased during Week 3. In order to control for the confounding variable of ability. Limitations of the Study A major limitation with this study is the lack of a control group. This supports aspects of CET. Thus. despite taking a dip during Week 2 when the reward was given. as scores went down during Week 2 when the reward was given. competence values did increase over time. However. In terms of competence. It should be noted that lack of a control. which decreases their perceived competence. each student within the three classes had to be randomly assigned to one of the two conditions (choice versus no choice). suggesting that in the short-term. CET claims that rewards make people feel pressured (loss of autonomy). the three classes were not homogenous according to math ability. Competence comes from participants meeting criteria signifying competence and importance.
the measures used in the present study were self-report instruments. Thus. more meaningful understanding of rewards and achievement. autonomy. Implications for Practice and Future Directions While the results appear discouraging for proponents of rewards to some degree. to name a few and pose a threat to internal validity. Although increases in competence over time and intrinsic motivation when offered a choice were found. a cautionary outlook would be best adopted. Having a control group would have allowed deeper. Finally. Self-report measures can provide useful information about individual feelings and perceptions. their ability to understand the question. and intrinsic motivation could not be examined in the present experiment. Thus. the increases appear to stem from statistically significant differences between groups before the reward was introduced and a dip in perceptions of competence in the face of a reward and an increase when the reward was removed. these increases could not be conclusively linked to rewards given a lack of a control group. In addition. using a larger sample size may have controlled for this potential threat to internal validity. No definitive conclusions either . and their honesty when answering questions. It is possible that the findings on the self-report measures in the present study were influenced by other factors. However. these measures can also be influenced by the individual’s mood. Students were asked to rate their agreement or disagreement with a particular statement. the effects of rewards on competence.73 group could not be created because of potential threats to both internal and external validity.
Thus. who use rewards. First.e. Nevertheless. competence. is there a time during the school year when rewards would have greater effects? Should rewards be introduced at the beginning of a school year as part of the daily routine? Third. those that go beyond a week) are needed.e. While this question was explored to some degree in the study (i. more targeted work needs to be conducted on the long-term effects of rewards. Thus. several areas come to mind. with the . extending the study to seven weeks). longer-term studies (i. it would be interesting to consider what effects the re-introduction of rewards may have on interest. it was not sustained for the entire study. however. It appears that intrinsic motivation in the present study did last for several weeks. Certainly. the question of rewards and their effects on students’ knowledge is still ambiguous despite being explored in the present study. more targeted work exploring the effects of rewards in the classroom is certainly warranted. In doing so. autonomy. and achievement. it is unclear how long the effects of the reward and choice condition may last and if and when rewards may need to be re-introduced to sustain interest. would it be beneficial for teachers and educators. to re-introduce them? Would this diminish interest due to familiarity? Also. Second. It would be beneficial to use a control group and research design similar to Luis and Zusho (2009).74 for or against reward use in classrooms could be made. it is highly recommend future research to also consider using realistic settings (and not laboratory-based settings) and quasi-experimental methods as such research has the greatest probability of advancing our understanding of how rewards work in the “real” world..
but it is more important to figure out how teachers can motivate their students. students that are more interested and focused may in fact do better on achievement measures as some past research has shown. the extent of the effect of rewards on achievement is still a mystery. Past research has shown that rewards can affect achievement. Using a structured design based on theoretical knowledge of rewards and intrinsic motivation can help teachers to implement strategies geared towards increasing motivation. the present study did show that teachers can create and implement reward systems based on research model. which ties directly into real educational issues. overall performance on targeted tasks. New York City Department of Education recently admitted that student test scores decreased in 2010 and more attention was needed to increase student achievement (Walz. . motivating students to learn and love learning is taking center-stage in education. Researchers found that rewarding students increased their ability on spelling tests. School and educational psychologists may serve an important consultant role when helping teachers to tackle the issue of low achievement and intrinsic motivation. 2010). In terms of implications for putting reward systems into practice in real classrooms. The question remains as to how rewards increase achievement? What type of reward and reward contingency can have these positive effects? In short. Furthermore.75 addition of achievement measures. as well as. Moreover. Giving these lower performing students more attention is well and good. Prior research and the present study did show that choice of rewards can positively affect intrinsic motivation.
and intrinsic motivation interact in the face of rewards and how this interaction affects school functioning (i.e. . more information is needed to better understand the relationship between rewards and intrinsic motivation. autonomy.76 In conclusion. it appears this group of students was already more motivated before the treatment was given. How the factors of competence. Although students who were offered a choice to be rewarded did report higher levels of intrinsic motivation than students not offered a choice. achievement) in real classrooms remains ambiguous. No substantial evidence was found in favor of or against reward use in the present study.
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REWARDS, INTRINSIC MOTIVATION, AND ACHIEVEMENT IN INTACT CLASSROOMS
Melissa A. Luis, PhD Fordham University, New York 2011 Mentor: Akane Zusho, PhD
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of performancecontingent rewards in a real-world setting, namely the sixth grade math classroom. This study is significant in that it represents a field study on the effects of rewards in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to investigate what effect, if any, the choice of a reward had on students’ self-reported perceptions of competence, autonomous regulation, and intrinsic motivation, as well as seatwork scores and achievement over time. Sixty-six students from an urban sixth grade middle school were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (choice versus no choice of a reward) and completed measures of perceptions of competence, autonomy, and motivation at one, two, three, and seven weeks. In addition, seatwork was collected each week for a total of four seatwork assignments and scored. Pre and post achievement measures were also collected. Overall, the findings were found to be largely inconclusive. Initial findings indicated that having a choice to be rewarded increased perceptions of intrinsic
motivation. However, further analysis found that statistically significant differences were present between the two groups before the treatment was introduced. Thus, increase in intrinsic motivation could not be attributed to having a choice to be rewarded. Results also did not support an increase in the perceptions of autonomy or competence when offered a choice. Furthermore, no statistically significant achievement differences were found by condition. In short, no substantial evidence was found in favor of or against reward use in the present study. How the factors of competence, autonomy, and intrinsic motivation interact in the face of rewards and how this interaction affects academic achievement in whole classrooms remains ambiguous. Implications for both General Interest Theory and Cognitive Evaluation Theory are discussed.
89 VITA .
New York 2003-2004 Bachelor of Arts Psychology Master of Science School Psychology Doctor of Philosophy Educational Psychology Professional Positions . New York 2004.present School Psychologist Kingsley School Brooklyn. New York Wheatland-Chili Central School District Scottsville. New York Conferred May 2011 School Psychologist New York City Department of Education New York. New York Conferred May 2003 Fordham University New York. LUIS Date of Birth Place of Birth High School January 23.90 VITA MELISSA A. New York Conferred May 2000 Fordham University New York. New York Regents Diploma Syracuse University Syracuse. 1978 Rochester.
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