The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effects of Task Difficulty and Reward Opportunity on Motivation


The present study was designed to measure the effects of task difficulty and reward opportunity on motivation. The participants, 20 undergraduate students, were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions: reward opportunity-hard proofreading task, reward opportunity-easy proofreading task, no reward opportunity-hard proofreading task, or no reward opportunity-easy proofreading task. It was hypothesized that the participants offered an opportunity for reward would perform better than those not offered an opportunity for reward by indicating and correcting more spelling and grammatical errors. Also, it was hypothesized that participants offered an opportunity for reward would return the completed proofreading task quicker than participants not offered an opportunity for reward. Two, 2 x 2 ANOVAs were carried out with the results showing no main effects of task difficulty or opportunity for reward on number of errors corrected or time of return (in days), indicating no change in motivation. As the original hypothesis was not supported, issues with the study and areas for further research were discussed.

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