Extrtrinsic [sic] rewards and intrinsic motivation: the search for mechanisms
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Researchers have found that extrinsic rewards can undermine peoples' intrinsic motivation. However, only a few studies have examined the mechanism that underlies this undermining effect, and little research has considered the individual characteristics that may moderate this effect. People who use dialectical thinking are inclined to tolerate contradictions and expect changes. Thus, it is possible for them to integrate extrinsic motivations and intrinsic motivations rather than see them in opposition. The present study examines the role of overjustification, self-determination, and dialectical thinking in the effect of reward on intrinsic motivation. 52 undergraduate students were recruited for this study. Half of them received a completion-contingent monetary reward while the other students did not receive any monetary reward. Results did not replicate the undermining effect of rewards, but confirmed the association between participants' intrinsic motivation and their degree if overjustification and self-determination. In line with the hypothesis, the interaction between peoples' dialectical thinking and their overjustification was significant when predicting self-reported interest. Results indicated that for participants who are low on dialectical thinking, overjustification was significantly negatively associated with their self-reported interest whereas for participants who are high on dialectical thinking, the association between self-reported interest and overjustification was not significant.
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