ERIC Number: ED066928
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Nov
The Interaction Between Reward Preference and Task Difficulty in a Computer Assisted Instructional Setting. Final Report.
Yens, David P.
Two aspects of motivation were investigated in this study: the use of individual incentives to enhance learning, and the effect of different levels of task difficulty on the effectiveness of these individualized incentives. One hundred-forty-two fourth and fifth grade students were subjects. Individual preferences for rewards that would serve as incentives were first assessed through a Reward Preference Inventory, and then each subject was randomly assigned to one of three levels of incentive (most preferred reward, least preferred reward, or no reward) and to one of four levels of task difficulty in a computer-assisted arithmetic lesson. Task time and number of problems attempted were dependent variables. While results were generally not congruent with expectations, there was some indication that the promise of a reward will cause students to work longer on a task than no promise of a reward, and the promise of a most preferred reward will be more potent than the promise of a reward of lesser preference. In addition, no support was found for any of the theories of interaction between motivation and task difficulty. (Author/SH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Educational Research and Development (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park.