The harmful consequences of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation and task performance: Investigating the roles of situational task control and trait self-control

Pirathat Techakesari (2011). The harmful consequences of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation and task performance: Investigating the roles of situational task control and trait self-control Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Pirathat Techakesari
Thesis Title The harmful consequences of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation and task performance: Investigating the roles of situational task control and trait self-control
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 127
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary This thesis investigated one of the most extensively used interventions by organisations to produce intrinsic motivation and better task performance among employees. This strategy involves the provision of performance-contingent financial incentives in various forms, such as bonuses and paid holidays. Deci and Ryan's (1985) self-determination theory posits that extrinsic rewards undermine intrinsic motivation and task performance, but that the presence of high task control also may act to diminish this undermining of extrinsic rewards on these outcomes, a proposition that has received some empirical support in the literature. In light of these results, the present study proposed that Tangney, Baumeister, and Boone‟s (2004) notion of trait self-control may moderate the interrelationship between extrinsic rewards and task control on intrinsic motivation and task performance. It was hypothesised that, for those low in trait self-control, the undermining effect of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation and task performance would be evident in the low task control condition, but would be diminished in the high task control condition. It also was hypothesised that for those high in trait self-control, the undermining effect of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation and task performance would be diminished in both the low and high task control conditions. These hypotheses were examined in a 2 (reward: extrinsic reward versus no reward) x 2 (task control: high versus low) x 2 (trait self-control: high versus low) experimental research design with a sample 124 participants who took part in a work task simulation. As predicted, results indicated that extrinsic rewards significantly undermined task performance only in the low task control condition and only for those low in trait self-control. However, contrary to the predictions, extrinsic rewards significantly enhanced intrinsic motivation regardless of situational task control and individual differences in trait self-control. Possible explanations for the unexpected findings are provided. Practical implications and future research directions also are discussed.
Keyword Extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation
Task performance
Financial incentives

 
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Created: Wed, 27 Jun 2012, 13:32:19 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology