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‘If, then’ rewards or conditional rewards are when we promise to give something to an individual when they complete a certain task.
These rewards can have a negative impact on motivation as the employees lose the will to work on that task for the sake of working.
There are many examples of scandals, and scams, like managers tweaking their reports to show better results, or athletes using steroids. These shortcuts do not work in the long run. If we are having a spark of intrinsic motivation, the reward is the work itself, and there can be no shortcuts if we love our work.
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Intrinsic motivation is necessary for creative work. We need broad thinking, so we can come up with innovative ideas and see new connections.
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The 3 elements required for intrinsic motivation:
When we know that our work will make a difference to someone else, it makes us work harder.
Try to reach out to the people who directly benefit from your work. This could boost your motivation to work hard.
As we grow older, we take cues from our environment and become serious and rigid, conforming to the norms and rules imposed upon us.
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In the 70s, creativity was thought of as a trait, something a few geniuses have, and the rest of us do not.
New studies show that ‘extrinsic’ motivators, factors outside ourselves, can influence our creativity. Competition, evaluation, level of strictness along with rewards and punishment play a huge factor in a person’s overall creative levels.
Knowledge that someone will check, evaluate and grade one’s work, surveillance, a promise of a reward, threat of a punishment, creative constraints, competition and motivating factors like power, money and fame can kill creativity.
Rewards generally provide the individual with a feeling of being controlled, but can also enhance creativity in some cases.
When Ivan Pavlov and his dogs led to the discovery of learned behaviour through repeated exposure, and Edward Thorndike discovered the Law of Effect that stated that rewarded behaviours tended to increase, many psychologists were impelled to separate psychology from armchair introspection and formulated their theories as mathematical formulas.
Donald Hebb realised that existing theories were too focused on reacting to the immediate environment. Thoughts, ideas and goals could be just as strong for triggering action as sights and sounds.
Together with John Atkinson, they noted that the study of motivation had undergone a "paradigm shift", where motivation couldn't be seen as how actions get started, but how the organism decides to change its behaviour from one thing to another.