Reward Contingencies and the Development of Children's Skills and Self-Efficacy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dale H. Schunk, Dean (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This experiment tested the hypothesis that rewards offered for performance attainments during competency development promote children's arithmetic skills and percepts of self-efficacy. Children received didactic instruction in division operations and were offered rewards contingent on their actual performance, rewards for simply participating, or no rewards. Results showed that performance-contingent rewards led to the highest levels of division skill and self-efficacy, as well as the most rapid problem solving during the training program. In contrast, offering rewards for participation resulted in no benefits compared with offering no rewards. The findings suggest caution in how rewards are distributed in educational contexts.

Additional Information

Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 511-518.
Language: English
Date: 1983
Incentives, Children, Education, Motivation, Skill development, Self-efficacy

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