ERIC Number: ED309372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Extrinsic Incentives on Problem Solving: Motivation, Performance and Recall.
McNeill, Sheila F.; Kimmel, Ellen B.
This study was undertaken to examine what would happen if individuals who are intrinsically motivated to perform a cognitive problem-solving task were offered a contingent extrinsic monetary incentive for doing so. Sixty male and 60 female undergraduates at the University of South Florida used microcomputers to complete a cognitive task requiring the storage of information that was later spontaneously transferred and applied to solve problems. Subjects received 10 related and 5 dummy clue statements and then were asked to provide plausible explanations for seemingly implausible events. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of 12 groups based on incentive, gender, and interest level. Four groups received the offer of money prior to the clues, four groups received the offer of money after the clues but before the problems, and four groups received no offer of money. The results indicated that the offer of money for problem solving appeared to dramatically decrease intrinsic motivation and detrimentally affect performance. The findings also suggest that incentives may have interfered in the cognitive storage and retrieval of information. (TE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (96th, Atlanta, GA, August 12-16, 1988).