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cognitive-evaluation theory


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A theory dealing with the effect of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. It assumes that intrinsically motivated behaviour is affected by a person's innate need to feel competent and self-determining in dealing with the environment. The theory asserts that there are two main ways extrinsic rewards affect intrinsic motivation. First, the reward may have a controlling affect by being perceived as the primary reason for participating in an activity. Secondly, a reward may have an informational aspect, which affects the recipient's opinion of his or her own competence. Most rewards have a controlling aspect and an informational aspect. The combined effects may either increase or decrease an individual's intrinsic motivation. Rewards that have mainly a controlling aspect tend to decrease intrinsic motivation. See also self-determination theory.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.


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