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The Effects Of Extrinsic Rewards On "intrinsic Motivation."

W. E. Scott
Published 1976 · Psychology

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Abstract Recently a number of cognitive theorists have prescribed widely against the use of reinforcement procedures in organizations, citing as evidence those studies in which contingent extrinsic reinforcers seemed to impair intrinsically motivated behavior. However, a review of those studies reveals that (a) there is no acceptable evidence that extrinsic reinforcers inevitably disrupt behavior maintained by other, but perhaps less obvious, reinforcing events and (b) the meaning of “intrinsic motivation” remains obscure. Unfortunately, the postulation of autonomous central processes continues to produce studies that neither clarify those processes nor increase our knowledge of the manner in which human task performance is acquired and maintained. A reinforcement analysis is proposed as a more fruitful alternative.
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