A principle concerning the effect of rewards on the motivation of athletes. According to the principle, if an extrinsic reward is perceived by an athlete to be more important than the intrinsic motivation to participate in an activity, the value of the intrinsic motivation is discounted. For example, if an athlete who started playing a sport for its own sake is given money to play, the athlete comes to perceive that he or she is playing only for money rather than for any intrinsic reason. Consequently, the athlete is likely to stop playing in the absence of a monetary reward.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.