ERIC Number: ED237877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Overjustification: Constraint, Contrast, or Competence?
Stalling, Richard B.; Green, Daniel R.
An "overjustification effect" is inferred if following reward for an intrinsically interesting activity, individuals subsequently show less interest in the activity than do comparable individuals who receive no reward. It is not clear which situations produce this effect and which produce an opposite or "reward" effect. To determine whether reward value is negatively or positively associated with the overjustification effect or whether reward value interacts with competency feedback, 96 college students were asked to play four games of the electronic game, Simon. Three levels of payment (no payment, $0.90, and $3.00) and two levels of verbal feedback (no feedback and favorable competency feedback) were used. Three dependent measures were analyzed: amount of play during an 8-minute waiting period, liking indicated on a 7-point scale, and number of hours volunteered for a similar experiment. Results indicated that decreased postcontingency play, an overjustification effect, occurred only for subjects who received both higher payment and favorable feedback on their performance. This result which is not congruent with much of the overjustification literature, was interpreted in terms of Levine's notion of perpetual contrast. It may be that a combination of money and favorable feedback functioned as a higher reward than either factor alone and only the combination was large enough to produce the contrast effect. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).