Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chapter 9

One of the concepts discussed in this chapter was the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards are those that we can get from others, such as money or social recognition. Intrinsic rewards, on the other hand, are rewards that we feel inside of us. Examples of this include sense of accomplishment or a feeling of competence. To be honest, it always seemed to me that extrinsic rewards were the ones that motivated us to work harder. After watching that 18 minute video a week ago, though, I realized that intrinsic rewards may play a bigger role than we think.
According to a research study done by Judy Cameron and W. David Pierce, rewards immensely helped motivate teams and people to work harder. In their study, they decided to test how it would be if a team never got a compliment nor rewards for the task they have done. The results showed that the quality of work decreased over time. At the same time, both Cameron and Pierce pointed out, rewards (moreso extrinsic than anything else) could be seen as something else rather than positive. “Promises linked to noncontingent reward may function as bribes rather than positive incentives.” (Cameron and Pierce) In a way, they were basically saying that extrinsic rewards, especially promising them to workers, did not really help bring about more positive energy to the group.
In my opinion, though most extrinsic rewards sound very enticing, it is that feeling of accomplishment that I feel when we finish a job that truly motivates me to work harder.

Source: Cameron, Judy and W. David Pierce. "Reinforcement, Reward, and Intrinsic Motivation: A Meta-Analysis." Review of Educational Research (1994): pp. 362-423.

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