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The Effect Of Extrinsic Reward On Helping Behavior

1547 words - 7 pages

Introduction
In this research project, the main area of study will be focusing on whether intrinsic motivation and extrinsic reward will have effects on helping behavior. Do people help others out genuinely because of good nature and self-fulfillment or because of the presence of reward? If extrinsic reward will increase people willingness to help people, what kind of reward will have the greatest effect? Before discussing further, it is better to understand what is intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation means the reason someone engage in an activity is purely because they find it interesting but it is not because of any reward or pressure. Extrinsic motivation means someone engage in an activity because of the extrinsic reward provided or pressure, but it is not because of they find the activity interesting.
In the academic history, there has been a long debate for almost 40 years on whether extrinsic reward will reduce the intrinsic motivation towards an activity. Some researcher thinks that the presence of extrinsic reward is harming the intrinsic motivation because it devalues the original interest of the activity. For example, if you like math and you always practice it-this is an intrinsic motivation; because you enjoy it However, if your parents decide to give you $20 every time you practice it, this can leads to a problem called over justification effect. It means when the intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation behind the activity are high, people consider they do it for the extrinsic reward. (Tang et al, 2008) So, you might not think you like practicing piano but rather you think you do it for the $20. This is what some of the researchers is worry about. Since the extrinsic reward can be so tempting, people might forget the original reason of why they are doing this and that. So let say next time when you practice math but your parents decided not to give you money anymore. You might be confused whether you truly like math or just because of the money. And therefore, you might find practicing math is meaningless after all. Another problem is that the reward will reduce self-determination. Our innate motive of being human is to “avoid the feeling of being pressured, constrained, coerced.” (Eisenberger, Rhoades and Cameron, 1999) However, when there is tangible reward (e.g., money), it can be a pressure to force people to act in a certain way and “reduce enjoyment of activities.”(Eisenberger et al, 1999) In a study-conducted way back in 1978, the researcher found that in many cases “extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation.”(Weinberg, 1978) It is because participants who received a reward are less likely to return to the same task again, and their quality of work is lower and less creative than other participants who did not receive a reward.(Weinberg, 1978) Some researchers believe that the innate goal of human beings...

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