Over Justification

Self-perception theory predicts a decrease in preference for a rewarded activity only when two conditions are met: Internal interest in the activity is high and the reward is perceived as more than adequate justification for performance

Joan Newman; Bruce D. Layton

2007

Scholarcy highlights

  • Self-perception theory predicts a decrease in preference for a rewarded activity only when two conditions are met: Internal interest in the activity is high and the reward is perceived as more than adequate justification for performance
  • In order to test this prediction, it is necessary to have a baseline of internal interest that is uncontaminated by external factors
  • An additional 22 children provided a baseline measure of internal interest in the toys by playing with them alone and unrewarded
  • The predicted interaction of internal interest and reward size was found on behavioral indices of play following the reward period
  • Compared to the baseline, increasing reward size was associated with a decrease in preference for the interesting toy but not for the uninteresting toy

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