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The Social Cognitive Approach To Motivation In Physical Education


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The Social Cognitive Approach To Motivation In Physical Education

  1. 1. A Cognitive-developmental Approach to the Effects of Rewardg on Intrinsic Motivation Fred W. Danner University of Kentucky Edward Lonky State University of New York College at Oswego DANNEH, FRED W , and LONKY, EDWARD A Cogmtive-developmental Approach to the Effects of Rewards on Intrinsic Motwation GHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1981, 52, 1043-1052 2 expenments were conducted to examine the relationships between cognitive level, intrinsic motivataon, and responses to extrinsic rewards and praise In expenment 1, 90 4-10-year-old children were divided into 3 cogmtive ability groups on the basis of their performance on a battery of classification tasks When allowed to choose among learning centers which differed in the level of understanding of classiBcahon required, all 3 cogmtive ability groups spent the most time m the centers which were just beyond their initial ability levels, and they rated these centers as most interesting and moderately diflBcult In expenment 2, the children received either rewards, praise, or no rewards for working m a learmng center whiuh was either at, above, or below their predicted levels of classification interest Rewards had httle effect on intrinsic motivation among children whose mobvabon was imtially low and decreased it among children whose motivabon was lmtially high Praise also had mued effects—highly mobvated children with an internal locus of control increased m lntnnsic motivation followmg praise, while highly mob- vated children with an external locus of control decreased m intrinsic motivation following praise The imphcabons of these results for the understanding of intrinsic motivabon and for educational pracbce were discussed Despite the consistent finding that rewards work from which to generate predictions con- can have negative effects on intrinsic motiva- ceming the kinds of intellectual tasks which tion (Deci 1975, Lepper & Greene 1978), it particular children will be motivated to engage IS still not clear what psychological processes in According to Piaget, cognibve growth is are involved in intrinsic motivation Most re- largely the product of the child's intense mter- searchers have operationally defined intrmstc est in resolving discrepancies between what motwatton as engaging m activities with no she or he already knows and understands about observable rewards and have chosen tasks the world and new information that does not wbch they think might be interesting for the fit with what she or he knows (Appel & Gold- age group studied Thus, puzzles (Deci 1971, berg 1977, Langer 1969, 1974, Piaget 1977) 1972) and Playboy centerfolds (Galder & Staw Furthermore, Piaget claims that the nature of 1975) have been used with college students, the match between children's existmg knowl- and colored paper, magic markers, and drums edge structures and new information is the have been used with younger children (Lep- critical determinant of both their ability to m- per, Greene, & N.sbett 1973, Ross 1975) The ^egrate the new mfonnation and their interest basic probkm with this approach u, that it ' quot; domg so (Hunt 1965, Mischel 1971) If , *^ 1 1 Ti tasks require children to use information and begs a very important question, namely. How ^^ilities which are highly familiar and well de- does one know which activities will be intnn- ^ ^, ^^^ ^^^ ^^^, ^^ ^ ^^ ^^^j, sically motivating for a given child? ^^^f^^ j j , ^ ^ Similarly, tasks requiring cog- We feel that Piaget's theory of cognitive nitive skills which are considerably beyond development provides an appropriate frame- children will not engage their interest Only This research was conducted while we were at the University of Wisconsm-Madison and was supported by grants from the Graduate School of Educabon and the Spencer Foundation We woiJd parbcukrly hke to thank Ench Labouvie, Frank Hooper, and Ron Serhn for their help Requests for reprints should be sent to Fred Danner, Department of Educabonal Psy- chology and Counseling, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506 [CkM Demhpmmt, 19«1, 52, 1043-1052 © 1981 by the Society for Research in Child Development, lnt 0009 392O/81/52O3-OO19JO1 001
  2. 2. 1044 ChUd Development those tasks which present a reahstic challenge ion Three tasks m {jarticular—dichotomous to a child, relative to his or her cognitive level, sorting, class inclusion, and combinatorial rea- are likely to engage persistent interest (Harter soning—are developmentally ordered both in 1978b) If this IS true, the problem of pre- terms of the percentage of children correctly dictmg and manipulating intrinsic motavation performing each task at successive age levels becomes one of matching task demands to cog- and in terms of the order of attainment of nitive levels these skills by mdividual children over time Implicit m this formulation is the familiar This clearly defined sequence of task diflB- hypothesis that children are attracted to quot;mod- culty affords the opportunity to define more erately discrepantquot; or quot;moderately complexquot; precisely what is meant by an optimally chal- stimuli Unfortunately, this intuitively appeal- lengmg task Deci's (1975) model of intrinsic ing hypothesis has been difficult to test be- motivation suggests that children seek out chal- cause of problems m specifying degrees of dis- lenging tasks m order to increase feelings of crepancy and complexity from the subject's competence and self-determination, while Pia- point of view (Flavell 1977, Kessen, Haith, & get's equilibration model of cognitive growth Salapatek 1970) A stringent test of the hy- implies that such tasks can only be defined in pothesis requires a set of stimuli or tasks with relation to the child's cognitive level (Piaget a clearlv estabhshed developmental sequence of 1977) A combination of these two approaches difficulty so that one can determine where indi- leads to the prediction that children will choose vidual children stand m the sequence and how to work on and find most interesting those tasks much discrepancy there is between their level which are just ahead of them m a developmen- of understandmg and the cognitive require- tally ordered sequence of tasks ments of each task Fortunately, the develop- Method ment of classification skills provides just such Subjects —^A total of 90 children (45 boys a task sequence It is this sequence which was and 45 girls) from kindergarten and grades 1, used to predict and manipulate intrinsic moti- 2, and 4 served as subjects They were selected vation in the present study from a larger group of 117 children from a The two major aims of the study were (a) rural Midwestern community on the basis of to test the hypothesis that intrinsic motivation their performance on a battery of classification depends on the match between cognitive level tasks (see below) The resulting sample ranged and task demands and (b) to assess the effects in age from 4-5 to 10-6 of extrinsic rewards and praise on several theo- Procedure —Each child was tested indi- retically defined levels of intrinsic motivation vidually by the first author on the following The lnveshgabon was conducted m two parts three tasks (1) Dichotomous sorting sorbng In experiment 1, children who differed in per- 22 cards with colored shapes on them into two formance on a pretest battery of classification piles A correct sort is one in which all of the tasks were provided with a choice of tasks re- cards are sorted along a single dimension, that quiring different levels of understanding of IS, color, shape, or number (2) Glass inclu classification The particular tasks the children sion comparing the number of items in a su selected to work on, the amount of time they perordmate class ( e g , triangles) with the spent on the tasks, and their ratings of task number of items m a subclass ( e g , red tri- interest were used as indices of intrinsic moti- angles) (3) Gombinatorial reasoning systemi- vation In expenment 2, children received cally generating all possible pairs of colored either rewards, praise, or no rewards for work- chips when given sets of eight different colors ing on a type of classification task which was either at, above, or below their predicted level Assessment procedures described by Hoo- of classification interest In this way, an assess- per, Brainerd, and Sipple (Note 2) were fol ment could be made of the effects of rewards lowed Based on this assessment, 15 male and and praise on a wide range of lmtial levels of 15 female subjects were assigned to each of mtrmsic motivation three cognitive ability groups group 1 (N = 30)—subject has successfully produced one dichotomy and failed all subsequent tasks Experiment 1 (mean age = 5-5), group 2 (N = 30)—sub Both logical analysis (Flavell 1972) and ject has successfully produced three dichoto empirical results (Kofsky 1966, Hooper, Swin- mies and failed class mclusion and combina- ton, & Sipple, Note 1) indicate that classifica- torial reasoning (mean age = 6-5), and group tion skills develop m a strikingly ordered fash- 3 (N = 30)—subject has passed all tasks
  3. 3. Danner and Lonkj 1045 through class mclusion and failed combina- should try to work at the center which was torial reasoning (mean age = 8-8) Of the 117 just right for them At this point, the experi- subjects assessed, only three individuals did not menter left the room and went to a one-way follow the proposed difficulty sequence and vision room where he could unobtrusively re- were not involved further in the study This cord the amount of time spent by the child at result strongly supports our assumption that each center After the free-choice period, the these tasks are developmentally ordered The child was asked to rate each center on a five- remammg 24 subjects ehminated from further point scale of interest and a five-point scale of consideration had all failed class inclusion, but difficulty group 2 had already been assigned its full Results and Discussion complement of 30 subjects Table 1 presents the mean time spent at Approximately 1 week after the pretesting, each center and the rabngs of each center by each child was brought individually to a mo- the three cognitive ability groups bile experimental classroom where tasks m It IS clear that each cognitive ability group three separate quot;centersquot; were demonstrated by spent more time with and rated as most inter- the second author These tasks provided ex- esting the center involving tasks which were ploratory and manipulative experience with one step ahead of the group's pretest level of sorting (center 1), class inclusion (center 2), classificabon skill Since the amount of time and combinatorial reasoning (center 3) The spent at each center was not independent of order of introduction of each center was ran- the tune spent at the other two centers, non- domized for each child Materials in all centers parametnc procedures were used m the anal- were identical, only the instructions describing ysis of the time-in-center data Three Fried- what was to be worked on (le , sorting, class man ANOVA tests were used to compare the inclusion, or combmatonal reasoning) varied time spent m each of the centers by each cog- Materials consisted of three-dimensional objects nitive ability group The first test mdicated varying in size, shape, weight, density, volume, that children from cognitive group 1 spent color, number, and material Other unrelated more time in center 1 than they averaged in materials (puzzles and books) were also pres- centers 2 and 3, Z = 6 79, p < 01 Similarly, ent, and the children were told they could children from cognitive group 2 spent more play with them if they wished time m center 2 than they averaged m centers After the tasks had been explained and 1 and 3, Z = 7 0, p < 01 And finally, cog- demonstrated, the child was asked to repeat nitive group 3 children spent more time m cen- the instructions for each center and then was ter 3 than they averaged in centers 1 and 2, given 10 mm to play at any center (or centers) Z = 6 08, p < 01 of his or her choice Ghildren were told that There was also a very close correspon- they might find the tasks at any particular dence between the children's ratings of the center too hard or too easy and that they T-VBLE 1 FREE-CHOICE TIKES AND RATINGS OF CENTERS AS A FUNCTION OF COGNITIVE GROUP Center 3 Center 2 Center 1 Cognitive group 1 13 42 (31 90) 63 41 (27 62) Mean time* 504 28 (81 52) 4 78 ( 71) 3 00 (92) 1 26 ( 38) Interest'' 4 84 (43) 3 82 (68) 2 00 (67) Difficult)'quot; Cognitive group 2 35 00 (38 05) 460 20 (66 00) Mean time* 86 53 (51 48) 3 65 ( 82) 1 20 ( 38) Interest*quot; 3 00 (96) 4 56 ( 82) 2 90 (90) Difficult* 1 33 (64) Cognitive group 3 344 96(89 30) 185 21 (71 23) Mean time* 59 47 (71 90) 1 40 (56) 2 30 ( 81) 3 80 (1 10) Interest*quot; 3 80 ( 61) 2 00 (61) 1 10 ( 31) Difficultvquot; NOTE —f = 30 for each cognitive group SDs in parentheses I » Out of total 600-sec free-choice period > 1 quot; most interesting, to 5 = least interesting > • 1 = easiest, to 5 = hardest
  4. 4. 1046 Child Development centers and the actual time they spent m each rewards and mtrmsic mobvabon, experimenters of them Kendall's r stabstic was used to de- chose tasks which they thought their subjects termme the degree of association between m- would find interestmg, and they were sabsfied terest ratings and time spent at the centers to demonstrate that their subjects were m fact Mean T values for ability groups 1, 2, and 3 wilhng to perform the tasks for no apparent were 91, 88, and 82, respectively In deter- reward This approach has served as a useful mining the significance of these mean T values, way to define mtnnsic mobvabon operabonally each child's T was treated as an individual pnor to the mtroducbon of reward manipula- score from a populabon of normally distributed bons It has also resulted in groups of subjects scores with a mean T equal to zero The sig- who are, by this definition, already high m in- nificance of a deviation from zero was tested trinsic mobvation before extrinsic rewards are via a one sample t test With sample size of mtroduced (Gondry 1977) Only a few investi- 30 children for each cognitive group, the as- gators have attempted to establish a range of sumption of normahty was not considered a lntnnsic interest pnor to assessing the effects of problem (Hays 1973) This procedure indi- rewards (Loveland & Olley 1979, McLoyd cated that the mean T values for each abihty 1979), and they report that the effects of re- group greatly exceeded zero ( p < 001), re- wards mteract with initial interest levels flectmg the fact that children rated most highly In expenment 2, both the approach and those centers in which they spent the most the results of the first expenment were used time to define a range of uiibal levels of mtnnsic In addition, there was an lnverted-U re- mobvation More specifically, all of the children labonship between interest rabngs and diffi- from the first expenment worked on class-in culty rabngs That is, tasks rated as either too elusion tasks like those used m center 2 Based easy or too hard were not rated as interestmg on the predictions supported m expenment 1, as tasks which were rated as moderately diffi- these class-inclusion tasks should be just beyond cult This supports Deci's (1975) nobon that the lnibal level of children m cognibve ability interest is a funcbon of optimal challenge group 2 and therefore highly mtnnsically moti- With interest and difficulty as ordered vari- vabng On the other hand, these tasks are too ables ( l e , Likert-type scales), a Kniskal- hard for the children in group 1 and too easy Walhs ANOVA procedure involving direcbonal for those m group 3 and therefore less lntnnsi- planned quadrabc trend comparisons was per- cally motivatmg The experiment was a test of formed (Marascuilo & McSweeney 1977) For the effects of rewards and praise on the subse- all three centers, the quadratic trends for the quent intrinsic mobvation of these three groups interest X difficulty ratmgs were significant (p of children < 05), supporting the inverted-U optimal chal- One additional feature of the study should lenge hypothesis be mentioned here—a test of the effects of These results indicate that the children praise Deci's (1975) cognitive evaluation the from each ability group chose to work on, and ory states that receipt of positive feedback for rated as most lnteresbng, those tasks which engaging m mtnnsically motivated acbvity they (correctly) perceived to be of moderate should increase the intrinsic mobvation for that difficulty In other words, they appeared to be activity Verbal praise, therefore, should in- mtrmsically mobvated to engage in those tasks crease lntnnsic mobvation However, a recent which were withm their reach but develop- review of the literature indicates that it does mentally just beyond their current level These not always do so (Deci & Ryan 1980) For results also supjjort Piaget's contenbon that in- some children, praise seems to act as an ex- trinsic mobvation is a function of the match tnnsic reward and decreases subsequent intrin- between a child's cognibve level and the cog- sic mobvation, while for other children it seems mbve demands of tasks to increase feehngs of competence and there- fore increases mtnnsic mobvabon This differ Experiment 2 enbal reaction to praise may be related to the child's concepbon of himseU as an active self- The results of experiment 1 were so clear determmmg agent For example, children who that they provided a umque opportunity to have an internal locus of control may view assess the effects of rewards and praise on the praise as a confirmation of their competence motivation of children whose initial levels of and therefore experience an mcrease m moti motivabon varied both theorebcally and em- vabon followmg praise On the other hand, pirically In most previous studies of extnnsic
  5. 5. Danner and Lonky 1047 children who have an external locus of control quot;Very fine work quot; The experimenter used two may be more hkely to view praise as an ex- hand-held counters to insure that each subject ternal reward which subtly detracts from the received the same number (five) of individual intrinsic value of a task quot;This hypothesis was positive verbal-feedback statements per session tested by determining whether any differenbal After completing the activities, each child was effects of praise on motivabon were related to told that not very many other children of their individual differences m perceived locus of con- age had done as well No-reward subjects were trol simply asked to work during these sessions, and no mention was made of rewards, nor did they Method receive any positive verbal feedback Subjects —The subjects were the same 90 children who served m expenment 1 On the day following the second 30-min work session, each child returned individually Procedure—The Bialer (1961) Ghildren's to the experimental classroom which had re- Locus of Gontrol Questionnaire was individ- sumed its expenment 1 appearance The child ually administered to each child Then 10 sub- was posttested on the three classificabon tasks jects (five male and five female) from each and then told that since there was about 10 cognitive ability group were randomly assigned mm left before returning to class, he or she was to a reward condition, 10 to a verbal-praise free to play m the room The experimenter left condition, and 10 to a no-reward condition for the observabon room where time as well as Each of these nine treatment/ability groups chosen activibes were unobtrusively recorded spent two 30-min sessions on consecubve days At the conclusion of the lO-mm free-choice working together on class-mclusion problems session, the child was again asked to rate the with the second author Pnor to each day's interest and difficulty level of each center activities, two introductory lessons were pre- sented by the experimenter These lessons Results and Discussion stressed class membership and the notions of Since the target of our reward and praise subordinate and superordmate classes manipulations was center 2, the results and discussion focus on the amount of free-choice During the introductory lessons, reward- time spent m center 2 after treatments com- group subjects were shown the award they pared with that before treatments In other would receive for working on the tasks—a words, the free-choice center 2 times from ex- large quot;good workquot; certificate, which was promi- periment 1 provided our mam index of initial nently placed in the experimental room to in- intrinsic motivabon which we compared with sure salience (Ross 1975) Rewards were ad- ministered to all subjects in the reward treat- the posttest center 2 times Analyses of the ment condition on day 2 of their work sessions data from centers 1 and 3 are not reported here Praise-group subjects individually received but may be obtained from the authors Table 2 positive verbal feedback statements such as presents the mean time spent at center 2 and quot;That's the best work you've done so farquot; and the ratings of center 2 as a function of treat- TBLE 2 CENTER 2 (Class Inclusion) POSTTEST TREATMENT MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS Extnnsic Reward No Reward Verbal Praise Cogmtive group 1 151 80(77 46) 191 40(141 12) 236 42(174 01) Mean time* 2 00 (66) 2 00 (74) 1 60 (51) Interestquot;quot; 3 12 ( 32) 2 93 (1 10) 2 20 (63) Difficulty' Cognitive group 2 225 64(79 21) 405 88 (144 00) Mean time* 441 40(119 25) 3 44 (70) 1 90 (87) Interest*quot; 1 00 (00) 1 50 (70) 1 90 (56) Difficultyquot; 2 32 (48) Cognitive group 3 70 28 (58 85) 251 42 (58 61) 203 40(123 43) Mean time* 1 90 (73) 1 56 (1 00) 1 90 (73) Interestquot;quot; 1 90 (56) 1 66 (51) 2 10 ( 73) Difficultyquot; NOTE—jV =• lOfor each treatment/ability group SDs 10 parentheses • Out of total 600-sec fiee-choice period > 1 — most interesting, to 5 » least interesting • « 1 — easiest, to 5 - hardest
  6. 6. 1048 Child Development Significant differences were in cognibve group ment and cognibve group As in expenment 1, 2, where extnnsic-reward subjects differed sig- interest ratmgs were highly associated with the nificantly from no-reward subjects, F = 27 39, amount of time spent in center 2, mean T p < 01, and from verbal-praise subjects, F — values of 82, 71, and 85 for abihty groups 13 63, p < 05 Thus cognibve group 2 was the 1, 2, and 3, respecbvely, and there was a sig- only group for whom rewards significantly de- nificant mverted-U relabonship between ratings creaseid intrinsic motivation It is interesting of interest and difficulty, p < 05 for quadrabc to note that the children in this group were also trends analysis those who had been predicted and found to be Analysis of the change m center 2 times high m lntrmsic mobvation prior to the intro- as a funcbon of treatment and ability group duction of rewards was done by means of a 3 (treatment) X 3 The treatment X pre-post time at center 2 (cognibve group) X 2 (pre- and posttest time mteracbon is illustrated m figure 2 Scheffe post m center 2) ANOVA The mam effect for cog- hoc compansons were performed on the pre- and nibve group was significant, F = 115 81, p < posttest differences between cognibve groups 001, as was the mam effect for treatment, F for each treatment There were no significant = 9 16, p < 001 There were two significant differences between cognibve groups m the no- lnteracbons—cognibve group X pre-post center reward condition In the verbal-praise condi- 2 tunes, F = 33 80, p < 001, and treatment X tion, cognibve group 1 differed from cognitive pre-post center 2 times, F = 14 63, p < 001 group 2, F = 21 20, p < 01 In the extrinsic- reward condition, cognibve group 1 was sig- The cogmtive group X pre-post center 2 nificantly different from both group 2, F = bmes interaction is illustrated in figure 1 47 29, p < 01, and group 3, F = 13 93, p < Scheffe post hoc comparisons were performed 05, and cognitive group 2 also differed from on the pre- and posttest differences between group 3, F = 9 89, p < 05 treatments at eacli cognitive level The only No Raward Ce9nttl«« group 1 too •00 SOO too -Cognltlva group 2 E 400 I 400 P ei 300 M 300 Cognltiva group 1 o Raward Cognltlva group 3 2 200 S 200 ,V*rbal PralM Eitrincic Reward « 100 O 100 0 0 Varbal Pralaa Cognltlva group 2 •00 •00 SOO SOO lo Raward m ^Cognitlva group 2 'Varbal Pralaa S 400 E 400 M 300 'Cognltlva group 3 xtrtnalc Raward 1200 I 200 Cognltlva group 1 100 o 100 0 0 Extrlnalc Raward Cognltlva group 3 •00 •00 SOO SOO m I 400 e 400 ti 300 H 300 -Varbal Pralaa lognlttva group 2 I 200 -No Raward S 200 :ognltlva group 1 O 100 » 100 gnitlva group 3 •ExtrtiMle Reward 0 Pra FIG 2 -Pre- and posttest center 2 bmes as a FIG 1 —Pre- and posttest center 2 bmes as a (unction of treatments function of cognitive group
  7. 7. Danner and Lonky 1049 Effects of Rewards smaller increases in classification performance, Consider first the effect of extrinsic re- when mtnnsic motivation for a difficult task was wards The highly motivated group 2 children initially low, rewards had httle effect on moti- showed a decrease in interest following re- vation and led to greater increases in classifi- , wards, while the less highly motivated children cation performance than did no rewards from groups 1 and 3 did not suffer these ill Effects of Praise ' effects In fact, the group 1 children actually The effects of verbal praise were very * increased shghtly on our measure of intrinsic similar to those of extrinsic rewards but not as motivation when they were rewarded for work- strong There were no significant effects of ing on center 2 tasks—tasks which were more praise on intrinsic motivation in any of the cog- difficult than those they tended to choose in nitive groups and only a slight suggestion that the first experiment This finding could be in- praise sometimes improved subsequent test per- terpreted to mean that rewards might increase formance Nevertheless, these nonsignificant a child's interest in tasks which are more chal- overall effects may have masked important in- ' Ienging than those he or she would ordinarily dividual differences m response to praise Our ', choose However, a similar increase in the hypothesis was that children with an internal amount of tune spent m center 2 occurred locus of control would view praise as a con- among the group 1 children m the no-reward firmation of their competence and would there- condition Therefore, extnnsic rewards were no fore show an increase m lntrmsic motivation more effective m increasing the motivation of following praise, while children with an ex- children whose initial level of interest was low ternal locus of control would view praise as an than were simple requests to work on the tasks external reward and would respond to it as if it Another way to look at the effects of rewards were a reward Since cognitive group 2 was IS to consider their impact on learning Al- most strongly affected by extrinsic rewards, any though the experiment did not involve exten- differential reaction to praise as a function of sive training, there was enough interaction with locus of control should be most evident in this classification tasks that one might expect some group If group 2 children with an external improvement in classification performance The locus of control really do view praise as a re- children m cognitive group 1 had produced ward, then they should show a decrease m in- only one complete sort on the dichotomous trinsic motivation following praise similar to the sorting task during the pretest This corre- decrease produced by a reward sponds to a score o^ 10 out of 30, according to f The tests of these hvpotheses were based the scoring procedures described by Hoojjer, on a comparison of the amount of time spent Brainerd, and Sipple (Note 2) On the post- in center 2 by children who were high or low test, the average scores m each group 1 treat- on a measure of internal locus of control A ment condition were as follows extrinsic re- median split of scores on the Bialer (1961) ward = 24, verbal praise = 22, and no reward Children's Locus of Control Questionnaire was = 14 Dunn's procedure comparing all pairwise used to create the high and low internal locus means indicated that the extrmsic-reward chil- of control groups This questionnaire yields dren performed significantly better than the scores ranging from 0 to 23, with higher scores no-reward children, d= 92, p < 05 The chil- indicating greater internal locus of control The dren in cognitive group 2 had failed class in- mean scores were 10 16, 11 36, and 11 60 for clusion on pretest Their posttest averages on cognitive groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively An the class-mclusion task, on a scale of 0-10, analysis of variance conducted on these scores were as follows 6 for the no-reward treatment, indicated no significant effects of cognitive 3 for the verbal-praise treatment, and 2 for group, sex of subject, or the mtera9tion be- the extrinsic-reward treatment The no-reward tween the two group performed significantly better than the extnnsic-reward group, Z = 2 0, p < 05 None Figure 3 presents the mean times spent by of the children m cognitive group 3 passed the verbal praise children m center 2 as a function combinatorial reasoning task at either pre- or of cognitive group and high or low internal posttest, thus no performance differences are locus of control Our primary interest was m available for this group the effects of praise on high and Jow internal locus of control children from group 2—the In summary, rewards had the following group which had been most strongly affected effects When intrinsic motivation for an ap- by extnnsic rewards As shown in figure 3, only propriately challenging task was initially high, group 2 children with an external locus of con- rewards decreased motivation and produced
  8. 8. 1050 Child Development •00 so s SOO 490 400 1 9S0 u 900 M tso 200 £ 1 ISO 100 SO 0 FIG 3 —Pre- and posttest center 2 times as a function of cogmtive group and locus of control els of lntnnsic motivation before they develop trol spent less time m center 2 following praise an internalized self-reward system, even the 5- This difference from pre- to posttest was sig- year-olds in our study freely chose those tasks nificant, t — 4 04, p < 01, and it indicates that which provided an optimal cognitive challenge these children had a negative reaction to praise which was similar to the reaction which other Certainly there is more to motivation than group 2 children had to rewards the match between cognitive ability and task demands, but it is both interesting and unpor- Implications tant that the children chose to work on those tasks which theoretically would provide opti The results of these two studies have sev- mal stimulation for cognitive growth It is in- eral implications for the understanding of in- teresting because it supports Piaget's disequi trinsic motivation and its relabonship to extrin- libnum model of cognibve growth, and it is sic motivation First, Piaget's (1977) disequi- important because it suggests that at least part hbnum model of cognitive growth provides a of the teacher's difiBcult problem of matching useful theoretical framework for defining m- tasks to children can be solved by providing tnnsic mobvation Its focus on the relabonship children wath more choices than they are typi- between children's cognitive level and the cog- cally offered This is consistent with Duck- nitive demands of tasks leads to clear predic- worth's (1973, 1979) suggestion that if a cli- bons about which children will be interested mate of respect for children's ideas is created m which acbvities These predictions were con- in a classroom and a choice of tasks is provided firmed at all three developmental levels sam- children can be trusted to select those tasks pled m our study Children spent the most which will provide stimulation appropriate to tune on and rated as most interesting those their intellectual level The fact that we used activities which were one step ahead of them tasks involving important cognitive skills makes m a developmental progression The children the leap to such speculations about classroom not only chose the predicted tasks and found learning a little easier to justify than has been them most mteresting, but they also considered the case with previous studies of intrinsic moti them to be of intermediate difiBculty These vation which have used magic markers, drums, results are consistent -with Harter's (1978b) or puzzles as stimuli (Notz 1975) finding of a curvihnear relationship between task difficulty and intrinsic pleasure as indi- A second lmphcation of the studies con cated by the amount of smiling while solving cerns the effects of rewards on intrinsic moti problems While Harter (1978a) has suggested vation and task performance Put most simply. that young children may not exhibit high lev- rewards do not nave a uniform effect on chil
  9. 9. Danner and Lonky 1051 dren's motivation The impact of rewards in- locus of control children viewed praise as a teracted quite strongly with the initial develop- reward designed to keep them on task, and mental and motivational levels of the children they lost interest when this reward was with- drawn For highly motivated children, rewards de- creased subsequent motivabon and also led to However these findings are interpreted, smaller improvements in task performance than they suggest that the effects of rewards and those achieved by highly motivated children praise on intrinsic motivation are more compb- who were not rewarded But for the younger cated than they first appear These effects de- children, whose intrinsic motivation for class- pend on children's initial levels of intrinsic inclusion tasks was initially low, rewards were motivation which are, m turn, affected by their not detnmental to subsequent motivation and cognitive levels, and they are complicated fur- led to greater increases m task performance ther by differences in the ways m which chil- than did no rewards Perhaps for the younger dren interpret rewards and other forms of feed- children the controlling aspects of an extnnsic back Therefore, the routine use of powerful reward (Deci 1975) served to focus their ac- external reward systems with groups of children tivity on a more difiBcult task than thev ordi- —given the inevitable ability differences be- narily would have chosen for themselves (Har- tween them—IS bound to have mixed effects ter 1978a) (Lepper 1980) The irony is that the most det- rimental effects seem to be reserved for those It IS important to note, however, that the highly motivated children for whom no reward slightly positive effect of rewards on the in- system is necessary m the first place trinsic motivation of young children was no greater than the effect evident m the no-reward condition That is, exposure to relatively diffi- Reference Notes cult tasks m an open settmg where there was 1 Hooper, F H , Swinton, S S , & Sipple, T S time to manipulate and explore seemed to gen- Logical reasoning m middle childhood a study erate as much interest as did this experience of the Piagetian concrete operations stage Re- plus rewards While the effects of extrinsic re- search summary presented at the Nineteenth wards might have been different if a more International Congress of Apphed Psychology, powerful multiple-trial reward procedure had Munich, July 30-August 5, 1978 been used (Vasta 1981), our findings support 2 Hooper, F H , Brainerd, C J , & Sipple, T S Lepper's (1980) contention that rewards are A representative series of Piagetian concrete often either detrimental to subsequent intrinsic operations tasks (Theoretical Paper no 57) mobvation or superfluous and, m either case, Madison University of Wisconsin, Research should be used with caution and Development Center for Cognitive Learn- ing, 1975 A final lmphcation of the studies is based on the effects of praise on intrinsic motivation Praise had generally positive effects on moti- References vation with one notable exception Highly Appel, M H , & Goldberg, L S (Eds ) Topics in motivated children (cognitive group 2) tended cognitive development Vol 1. Equtkbratton to decrease m motivation following praise But theory research and application New York this slight group decline in motivation masked Plenum, 1977 important individual differences in response to Bialer, I Conceptualization of success and failure praise Those group 2 children with an inter- m mentally retarded and normal children nal locus of control increased m motivation fol- Journal of Personality, 1961, 29, 303-320 lowing praise, while those with an external Calder, B J , & Staw, B M Self-perception of locus of control decreased in motivation m re- intrinsic motivation Journal of Personality and sponse to praise These findings suggest that, Social Psychology, 1975, 31, 599-^5 to use Deci's (1975) terms, the informational Condry, J Enemies of exploration self-initiated aspects of praise were most salient to the in- versus other-initiated learmng Journal of Per- ternal locus of control children, while the con- sonality and Soctd Psychology, 1977, 35, 459- trolling aspects of praise were more salient to 477 the external locus of control children That is, Deci, E L Effects of externally mediated rewards children with an internal locus of control con- on lntruisic motivation Journal of Personality sidered the praise positive information about and Social Psychology, 1971, 18, 105-118 their competence, and they transferred some of this positive feeling to the task, while external Deci, E L Effects of contingent and non-contm-
  10. 10. 1052 Child Development tal psychology New York Holt, Rinehart & gent rewards and controls on mtnnsic mobva- Winston, 1969 bon Organizational Behaoior and Human Per- formance, 1972, 8, 217-229 Langer, J International aspects of cogmbve orga- nization Cognitwn, 1974, 3 , 9-28 Deci, E L Intnnstc mottvatton New York Ple- Lepper, M R Intrinsic and extnnsic mobvabon num, 1975 m children detnmental effects of superfluous Deci, E L , & Ryan, R M The empirical explora- social controk In W A Collins (Ed ), Min- tion of intrinsic motivational processes In nesota symposia on chdd psychology Vol 14 L Berkowitz (Ed ), Advances m experimental Hillsdale, N J Erlbaum, 1980 soctd psychology Vol 13. New York Aca- demic Press, 1980 Lepper, M R, & Creene, D (Eds ) The hidden costs of reward Hillsdale, N J Erlbaum, Duckworth, E The having of wonderful ideas In 1978 J Raph & M Schwebel (Eds ), Piaget m the Lepper, M R , Creene, D , & Nisbett, R E Un- classroom New York Basic, 1973 dermuung children's mtnnsic interest with ex- Duckworth, E Either we're too early and they tnnsic rewards a test of the quot;over-jusbfica- can't learn it or we're too late and they know tion' hypothesis Joumd of Persorudity and it already the dilemma of quot;applying Piaget' Social Psychology, 1973, 2 8 , 129-137 Harvard Educational Review, 1979, 4 9 , 297- 312 Loveland, K, & Olley, J The effect of external reward on interest and quality of task per- Flavell, J H An analysis of cognitive-developmen- formance in children of high and low mtnnsic tal sequences Genetic Psychology Monographs, 1972, 86, 279-350 mobvation ChM Development, 1979, 50, 1207-1210 Flavell, J H Cogntttve development Englewood McLoyd, V The effects of extnnsic rewards of Chffs, N J Prentice-Hall, 1977 differential value on high and low mtnnsic Harter, S Effectance mobvabon reconsidered to- interest Chdd Development, 1979, 50, 1010- ward a developmental model Human Devel- 1019 opment, 1978, 2 1 , 34-64 (a) Marascuilo, L A , & McSweeney, M Nonpara- Harter, S Pleasure derived from challenge and the metnc and distribution free methods for the effects of receiving grades on children's diffi- socud sciences Belmont, Calif Wadsworth, culty level choices Chdd Development, 1978, 1977 49, 788-798 ( b ) Mischel, T Piaget cogmtive conflict and the moti- Hays, W Statistics for the social sciences (2d ed ) vabon of thought In T Mischel (Ed ), Cog- New York Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1973 ntttve development and eptstemology New Hunt, J McV Intrinsic mobvabon and its role in York Academic Press, 1971 psychological development In D Levine Notz, W M Work motivation and the negative (Ed ), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation effects of extnnsic rewards American Psy- Lmcoln University of Nebraska Press, 1965 chologist, 1975, 3 0 , 884-891 Kessen, W , Haith, M , & Salapatek, P Infancy In P H Mussen (Ed ), Carmtchael's manual of Piaget, J Problems of equihbrabon In M H Ap- child psychology (3d ed ) Vol 1. New York pel & L S Coldberg (Eds ), Topics m cog- Wiley, 1970 ntttve development Vol 1. Plenum, 1977 Ross, M Salience of reward and lntnnsic mobva- Kofsky, E A scalogram study of classificatory de- tion Journal of Personality and Soctal Psy- velopment Chdd Development, 1966, 37, chology, 1975, 32, 245-254 191-204 Vasta, R On token rewards and real dangers-a Langer, J Disequilibrium as a source of develop- look at the data Behavior Modification, 1981, ment In P Mussen, J Langer, & M Coving- 5, 129-140 ton (Eds ), Trends and issues m developmen-