ERIC Number: EJ1038132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Evaluations of the Overjustification Effect
Peters, Kerri P.; Vollmer, Timothy R.
Journal of Behavioral Education, v23 n2 p201-220 Jun 2014
The utility of reinforcement-based procedures has been well established in the behavior analysis literature and is commonly used in educational settings. However, the overjustification effect is one commonly cited criticism of programs that use tangible items as reinforcers. In the current studies, we evaluated the effects of tangible rewards contingent on engagement with leisure activities. We further evaluated the amount of engagement after the reward condition was discontinued. In Studies 1 and 2, tangible rewards were delivered for engaging with a preferred activity when only one leisure activity or several activities were available, respectively. Study 1 results did not support the overjustification hypothesis. Study 2 participants showed a decrease in activity engagement following the reward condition. It was not clear whether this was a result of extended exposure or overjustification. Thus, in Study 3, we extended exposure to preferred activities in one context without rewards. Study 3 results suggested that extended exposure to a preferred activity had effects that look similar to the overjustification effect but are probably best described as satiation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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