39 Pages

The Use of Concurrent Schedules to Evaluate the Effects of Extrinsic Rewards on “Intrinsic Motivation”: A Replication

WithKelli J. Skaggs, Alyce M. Dickinson, Kimberly A. O’Connor

Although extrinsic monetary rewards have been shown to increase work performance, they have been criticized on the grounds that they may also decrease an employee’s intrinsic mo־ tivation, leading to decreased quality, creativity, and a loss of self-determination. Stated more behaviorally, extrinsic rewards may usurp the control of intrinsic rewards and permanently decrease their 46reinforcing value. This study, a replication of Mawhinney, Dickinson and Taylor (1989), used concurrent schedules to assess the effects of extrinsic rewards; a procedure that enables an assessment of the degree to which extrinsic rewards usurp control of intrinsic rewards during reward administration. Unlike the results of Mawhinney et al., extrinsic monetary rewards usurped control of the intrinsic rewards for six of eight experimental subjects. Similar to Mawhinney et al., the extrinsic rewards did not weaken the reinforcing value of the intrinsic rewards as indicated by subject performance following extrinsic reward termination. The reasons for the differences in results are discussed, followed by a discussion of the importance of carefully specifying the work behaviors upon which monetary rewards are based.