The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

Effects of Objective Recall-Difficulty and Size of Rewards on Motivation and Ability to Recall Words


The present research experiment, which mostly used undergrad university students as subjects, was aimed to investigate how instant rewards / no rewards affect task performance on easy and difficult memorization tasks. A list with easy and a list with complicated words were created as audio files, and participants had to listen to either one, then recall and write down as many as they could. One condition received chocolate eggs as reward for each correct word, the other condition did not. After collecting data from 40 subjects (with 10 in each correlational design group: easy/reward, easy/no reward, difficult/reward, difficult/no reward), an ANOVA done with SPSS revealed that there was a significant main effect of rewards, F (1, 36) = 8.42, p < .05, as well as due to difficulty, F (1, 36) = 21.55, p < .05. No interactions were found. The assumption is that the results came to be due to the nature of the rewards and the kind of task. Opinions, ideas and future proposed research on the topic are further discussed in the Discussion section of this research report.

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