The undermining effect is a reality after all - Extrinsic rewards, task interest, and self-determination: Reply to Eisenberger, Pierce, and Cameron (1999) and Lepper, Henderlong, and Gingras (1999)

Edward L. Deci, Richard M. Ryan, Richard Koestner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

In their commentaries, M. R. Lepper, J. Henderlong, and I. Gingras (1999) rightly stressed various pitfalls in using meta-analysis and R. Eisenberger, W. D. Pierce, and J. Cameron (1999) rescinded or failed to defend many of their earlier claims, instead presenting 2 new meta-analyses said to discredit cognitive evaluation theory (CET). The 1st, concerning reward effects on self-determination, is invalid because they confused locus of control with locus of causality, and the 2nd, concerning performance-contingent rewards, is flawed in ways similar to their 3 previous meta-analyses. Their only new reliable finding, based on 6 studies, is that if people are told their performance will be evaluated by high standards, they are less intrinsically motivated when they do not get rewards than when they do. This article discusses conceptual and methodological issues, concluding that CET remains the best supported and most comprehensive theory of reward effects on intrinsic motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-700
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume125
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1999

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