Evidence for the negative impact of reward on self-regulated learning

Hillary S. Wehe, Matthew G. Rhodes, Carol A. Seger
2015 Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology  
The undermining effect refers to the detrimental impact rewards can have on intrinsic motivation to engage in a behaviour. The current study tested the hypothesis that participants' self-regulated learning behaviours are susceptible to the undermining effect. Participants were assigned to learn a set of Swahili-English word pairs. Half of the participants were offered a reward for performance, and half were not offered a reward. After the initial study phase, participants were permitted to
more » ... nue studying the words during a free period. The results were consistent with an undermining effect: Participants who were not offered a reward spent more time studying the words during the free period. The results suggest that rewards may negatively impact self-regulated learning behaviours and provide support for the encouragement of intrinsic motivation.
doi:10.1080/17470218.2015.1061566 pmid:26106977 fatcat:2utp7bdyjvgmzp45uwayessoue