The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effects of Competition and Reward on Intrinsic Motivation in Males


Samantha Buxton


The effect of competition and reward on intrinsic motivation was examined in 40 undergraduate university males. The purpose was to determine the main effects of competition and reward, and the interaction effect between the two. Based on previous studies, it was expected that competition and reward would decrease intrinsic motivation. Participants were divided into four conditions, competition-reward, competition-no-reward, no-competition-reward, and no-competition- no-reward. Participants then were provided with a three-dimensional soma puzzle to complete in one or two phases. The first phase was the experimental phase, which acted as a primer for the second phase. Intrinsic motivation was measured as the number of soma structures completed on the optional second phase. A significant main effect was found for competition, and the interaction effect, however not for the main effect of reward. Possible extraneous variables, explanations and implications are discussed.

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