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Rewards and Intrinsic Interest

  1. Edward P. Sarafino

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0795

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Sarafino, E. P. 2010. Rewards and Intrinsic Interest. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. College of New Jersey

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


It is usually assumed that giving rewards for performing a task increases future motivation for and engagement in that activity. A large body of research supports this assumption (Baldwin & Baldwin, 1998; Sarafino, 2001). In the early 1970s, however, studies began to find that under certain conditions, the opposite effect seemed to occur: External rewards for performing an intrinsically interesting activity undermined subsequent interest in and performance of that task.


  • interest;
  • intrinsic interest;
  • motivation;
  • rewards