ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (4): 685-692.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00685

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The Undermine Effect of Material Reward to Intrinsic Motivation

FENG Zhuqing;GE Yan   

  1. (Laboratory of Social Cognitive and Decision-making studies, Institute of Art and Humanities, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China)
  • Received:2013-07-17 Online:2014-04-15 Published:2014-04-15
  • Contact: GE Yan


Material reward is anywhere and everywhere. However, can it always result in working enthusiasm of people? As the cognitive evaluation theory suggests, reward has two facets, information and control, which influence intrinsic motivation in different ways. The former often helps to sustain intrinsic motivation while the latter may decrease the motivation. The latter’s effect, namely, undermine effect, has been confirmed in many studies. Moreover, researches have also found several factors that may mediate or moderate this undermine effect, including reward conditions, competence, causality orientations, feedback, freedom to choice, etc. Recent social neurological studies further observed the neural representations and mechanisms of undermine effect.

Key words: material reward, intrinsic motivation, undermine effect, cognitive evaluation theory