These experiments were supported by a grant from the Research Advisory Board at the University of Guelph. Requests for reprints should be sent to Brian Earn, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, NIG 2W1, Canada.
Intrinsic motivation as a function of extrinsic financial rewards and subjects'locus of control
Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 360–373, September 1982
How to Cite
Earn, B. M. (1982), Intrinsic motivation as a function of extrinsic financial rewards and subjects'locus of control. Journal of Personality, 50: 360–373. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1982.tb00756.x
- Issue online: 28 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received December 11, 1981; revised May 25, 1982.
Two studies investigating the effects of pay on the intrinsic motivation of subjects varying along the dimension of locus of control were conducted. It was hypothesized that internals, who should assign greater weight to the competency aspect of rewards they receive, would manifest increasing intrinsic motivation as pay increased. Externals, who should be more likely to focus on the controlling aspects of rewards, were expected to show decreases in intrinsic motivation as rewards increased. In Study 1, where both the controlling and competency aspects of the rewards offered were deliberately kept vague, the hypotheses were supported. In Study 2, where the controlling aspect of the pay offered was made salient by making pay contingent upon performance, high pay undermined the intrinsic motivation of both internals and externals. It was suggested that only when the controlling aspect of pay is not salient will the intrinsic motivation of externals and internals be differentially affected. Support for the hypothesis that internals and externals differentially weight available information when making causal attributions was also noted.