Retrospective discounting and augmenting in an overjustification procedure

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christian B. Carstens (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
John J. Seta

Abstract: Salient reward procedures can lead to decrements in the subsequent value or intrinsic motivation for an interesting target activity. Attributional analyses explain this phenomenon in terms of discounting: performing an interesting activity for an incentive induces an external attribution of causality, which is associated with a corresponding decrease in perceived intrinsic motivation. Nonattributional hypotheses explain the value decrement in terms of differential performance during the treatment session. Expected rewards can produce distraction, hurried performance, stereotyped responding, and other effects, all of which can interfere with the enjoyment of the target activity. Three experiments were conducted in which differential performance during the treatment session was ruled out by the use of a retrospective misattribution procedure. Adult subjects performed target activities while listening to background music. After the "treatment" session, but prior to the free-choice test session, experimental subjects were told that the music contained subliminal messages either encouraging or discouraging target activity performance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1983
Reward (Psychology)
Motivation (Psychology)

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