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Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation in Education: Reconsidered Once Again

Edward L. Deci, Richard Koestner and Richard M. Ryan
Review of Educational Research
Vol. 71, No. 1 (Spring, 2001), pp. 1-27
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3516064
Page Count: 27
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation in Education: Reconsidered Once Again
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Abstract

The finding that extrinsic rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation has been highly controversial since it first appeared (Deci, 1971). A meta-analysis published in this journal (Cameron & Pierce, 1994) concluded that the undermining effect was minimal and largely inconsequential for educational policy. However, a more recent meta-analysis (Deci, Koestner, & Ryan, 1999) showed that the Cameron and Pierce meta-analysis was seriously flawed and that its conclusions were incorrect. This article briefly reviews the results of the more recent meta-analysis, which showed that tangible rewards do indeed have a substantial undermining effect. The meta-analysis provided strong support for cognitive evaluation theory (Deci & Ryan, 1980), which Cameron and Pierce had advocated abandoning. The results are briefly discussed in terms of their relevance for educational practice.

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