What happens when you are paid to do a task that you
enjoy doing? Will you enjoy it more? Less? Will you
perform better? Worse?
Overjustification-intrisic motivation diminish
“I think I’m really fortunate because I really love what I do.
They’re players who do it because they’re good at it or use
it as a means just to provide or accolades or adoration.
That’s a different kind of motivation. When you do
something that you truly, truly love doing, you find
yourself wanting to do it all the time.”-intrinis
The overjustification effect: The tendency for
intrinsic motivation to diminish for activities that
have become associated with reward or other
extrinsic factors. Intrinsic motivation: motivation that originates
from within the person
(doing something “for its own sake,” not for the sake
of reward, e.g., studying for the love learning)
Extrinisic motivation: motivation that originates
from outside the person (the situation)
(the activity is a means to an end, e.g., studying only
because of the exam)
WHY? An attributional / self-perception phenomenon
Can be attribute to both intrinsic and extrinsic,
discounting--- Lepper et al. (1973)
1. gave children opportunity to play with colorful
felt-tipped markers…something these children loved
to do. By observing how much time the children
spent on the activity, they were able to measure the
degree of intrinsic motivation.
2. Two weeks later, children divided (randomly) into
3 groups, all about equal in terms of initial levels of
In one group, children asked simply to draw dome
pictures with the markers. In a second, told that if
they used the markers they would receive a “Good
Player Award,” a certificate with a gold star and a red
ribbon (very cool). In third group, not offered reward
for drawing pictures, but given reward afterward
3. One week later, teachers placed the markers and
paper on a table in the classroom and experimenters
observed through a one-way mirror. DV: Amount of
time each child spent playing with the markers
(reflecting his or her level of intrinsic motivation).
The paradox: Reward can undermine rather than enhance intrinsic
motivation. Should corporations stop offering incentives to
employees? Yes, if framed as a “bribe,” no if
framed as a “bonus.”
Intrinsic motivation increases when you feel
autonomous, rather than controlled.
-Office workers REACTIONS TO SETBACKS AND
Dweck & colleagues: two key patterns that
people display after failure:
1) helpless pattern
2) mastery-oriented pattern
1)a view that once failure occurs, the situation is
out of their control,
2)a general denigration of their own intelligence or
5)lower persistence / deteriorating performance.
hardy responses to failure because students remain
focused on achieving mastery in spite of their present
1)children solved 8 easy logic problems.
2)children next went on to 4 very difficult problems
3) children given 8 new easy problems-as easy as the
How did they respond? Questionnaire used to assess mastery-orientation vs. help-
DV’s: performance, strategies used (good vs. bad),
plus thoughts and feelings they spontaneously uttered
(asked to talk aloud as they worked on problems).
Mastery-oriented better on all DV’s. Most striking:
helpless children no longer could solve the problems of the
same easiness that they solved with no problem prior to the
setback! In other words, the setback seemed to activate a
debilitating mind set that not only led to self-recrimination
but actually impeded their performance.
Helpless pattern: failureglobal attributions
(indictment of self as incompetent, beyond the
circumscribed task at hand)
In other words…made FAE on themselves!
Is praising children a good thing to do?
Mueller & Dweck (1998):
1)gave 5 graders an easy set of problems
2)all students told they got a very good score.
3)Students in control group: feedback stopped there.
Students in intelligence-praise group: Experimenter
continued saying, “You must be very smart.” Students in effort-praise group, “You must have worked really
4) 2 set of problems – much harder, much poorer
5) 3 set – same level of easiness as first set.
Results (on 3 problem set):
“you must be smart” “you must have worked hard” controls
Thus, these simple differences in feedback led to profound
differences in the way the children saw themselves and led
to major differences in their performance!!
Instrumental aggression – harm inflicted as a means
to a desired end (e.g., personal gain, attention, or
even self-defense). Assumption: If aggressor believes there is an easier way to obtain goal,
aggression would not occur.
Emotional aggression – harm inflicted for its own
sake. Often “hot” and impulsive…
but not necessarily as in “revenge is a dish best
served cold” (a la the Count of Monte Cristo).
To what extent is our level of aggression due to
Twin studies (monozygotic compared to dizygotic).
Prediction: identical twins should be more similar to
each other in level of aggression than fraternal twins.
Adoption studies. Prediction adopted children’s level
of aggressiveness should resemble biological parents
more than adoptive parents. Results: Greater than zero genetic contribution, but
not very impressive (Miles & Carey, 1997).
The general finding: strong relationship between
testosterone level and physical violence.
But what’s the interpretation?
low levels of serotonin are associated with higher
levels of aggression, and drugs that boost serotonin
decrease aggression. An individual’s level of
serotonin appears to have some a priori genetic
component but it also fluctuates a lot from situation
to situation. LEARNED ELEMENTS
Aggressive behavior can be strongly reinforced
via positive reinforcement (aggression produces
rewards) or negative reinforcement (aggression
prevents undesired outcome).
Hall’s (1998) research suggests that punishment
is more likely to work at decreasing aggression
if it is:
Berkowitz (1998) argued that the certainty of
punishment is more important than its severity.
Bandura’s Bobo Doll study: social models have
great power to teach aggression, even without
any real rewards or punishments to the child!
i.e. purely through observation
Fortunately, studies have shown that
nonaggression can also be successfully modeled
through observational learning (Gibbons &
Ebbeck, 1997). FRUSTRATION
Dollard (1939): The Frustration-Aggression
1.Frustration produced by interrupting a
person’s progress toward an expected
goal will always elicit the motive to
2.All aggression is caused by frustrations
A key component: Displacement (the
inclination to aggress is deflected to a more
socially acceptable substitute)
e.g., You come home from a bad day at work
and yell at your spouse, kids, dog. Research has isolated the following reasons for why
“catharsis” doesn’t actually happen:
1.Imagined or observed aggression is actually
more likely to increase physiological symptoms.
2. Actual aggressive behavior can lower arousal
levels, but if the aggressive intent remains,
“cold-blooded” aggression (i.e., without the
arousal component) can still occur, and does
occur quite often. “Hot” aggression is not the
only kind of aggression, and it might not even
be the most frequent kind!
3. If the reduction in arousal after aggressive