Tweet: Damaging intrinsic motivation by external intervention.

There is phenomena called Motivation crowding out in psychology. It suggest that providing extrinsic incentives for certain kinds of behavior, such as promising monetary rewards for accomplishing some task,. can sometimes undermine intrinsic motivation for performing that behavior.

Edward Deci (creator of Self Determination Theory), researcher at the University of Rochester, found that people given a financial incentive were now less interested in solving puzzles on their own time. Although these people had earlier been just as eager as those in the other group, offering an external incentive seemed to kill their internal drive.

This principle provides real suggestion to educators providing extrinsic incentives as a driver for learning:

  • Be careful in introducing extrinsic rewards in contexts were intrinsic rewards works perfectly.
  • Devise strategies to get feedback regarding types of motivation( E or I) which is driving student learning in each contexts.

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