On Money and Motivation

A great debate is about to erupt nearby about whether monetary rewards can have a positive or a negative impact on academic research and scholarship. There are purists who believe that giving monetary rewards for publishing in top ranking academic journals can spur a rat race. They believe that research and scholarship should be carried out due to intrinsic motives. There are others who argue that extrinsic stimuli such as money could lead to better quality of research. There is Alfie Kohn who argues against monetary rewards. You can read up his stuff here.

Punished by Rewards – (Book)

(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993 / 1999) (Tantor audio, 2017) 1999 edition features a new Afterword by the author Our basic strategy for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summarized in six words: Do this and you’ll get that.

Following is a rebuttal of Alfie Kohn’s aforementioned work; Punished by misunderstanding. In this the author argues how Alfie Kohn’s arguments are shallow. Especially he notes that much of the subjects of Kohn’s work were rats and pigeons. Kohn also considered the children involved in his work to be passive agents. He also argues that the subjects were exposed to rewards for a very short time. For a lasting impact of rewards or to see their impact as a whole, he argues, the subjects should have been exposed to them for weeks or even months.

Punished by Misunderstanding: A Critical Evaluation of Kohn’s Punished by Rewards and Its Implications for Behavioral Interventions with Children

Despite the growth of behavior analysis over the past 30 years, misunderstandings of behavioral theory and practice may threaten its continued growth and application. Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes (1993) offers a view of behaviorism that, if accepted uncritically, could hinder efforts to disseminate behavioral interventions, particularly those involving children.

Then there are other well-crafted arguments in favor of monetary rewards for publishing as well. Please peruse the following.

Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research

How much should people earn? Even if resources were unlimited, it would be difficult to stipulate your ideal salary. Intuitively, one would think that higher pay should produce better results, but scientific evidence indicates that the link between compensation, motivation and performance is much more complex.

Here is what Scientific American has to say about such matters.

For the Brain, Cash Is Good, Status Is Better

New research shows for the first time that we process cash and social values in the same part of our brain (the striatum)-and likely weigh them against one another when making decisions. So what’s more important-money or social standing? It might be the latter, according to two new studies published in the journal Neuron.

Why cash and copyright are bad news for creativity

Today we kick off our series devoted to creativity – examining what it is, what we know about it, and why it’s so important. Imagine you were asked to write a law that encouraged creativity. What would it look like? Whatever your answer, it’s pretty clear that it wouldn’t look like copyright.

This is a great argument.

Cash is Bad for Creativity? Yeah, Right

A discussion once again erupted this month, fuelled by rapid re-sharing of the headline, “Why cash and copyright are bad for creativity” and a post on The Conversation by Dan Hunter. The premise put forth by Hunter, based on studies by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, and Teresa Amabile, is summed up nicely here: “…artists produce their worst work when they’re commissioned to produce it, …

The Psychology Behind Gift-Giving and Generosity

A few weeks ago psychologist Dan Ariely, inspired by the holiday frenzy, pondered the hows and whys of gift-giving. Reading his piece-an endorsement of a behavioral economics view that challenges the rational economic contention that gift-giving is a largely irrational dilemma-at once brought to mind the story that has to me (and, I suspect, to many others) always epitomized the spirit of gifts and generosity: O.

For those who think if monetary rewards associated with scholarship would deteriorate the quality of work due to shifting focus of the mind instead of work, following is a nice argument.

Motivated Multitasking: How the Brain Keeps Tabs on Two Tasks at Once

The human brain is considered to be pretty quick, but it lacks many of qualities of a super-efficient computer. For instance, we have trouble switching between tasks and cannot seem to actually do more than one thing at a time. So despite the increasing options-and demands-to multitask, our brains seem to have trouble keeping tabs on many activities at once.

It can also be argued that rewarding certain people in an organization could spur emotions of professional jealousy. People of our country are especially really good at developing such feelings. For them, the following article is a good motivator to develop a generous personality.

Generosity Is Its Own Reward

Most of us have felt the satisfaction that comes from spending money on another person, whether it be a gift for a friend or a donation to disaster victims. Now an international team of psychologists report that the relation between generous spending and happiness holds around the world, even in countries as impoverished as India and Uganda.

Photo by 401(K) 2013

If you found an error, highlight it and press Shift + Enter or click here to inform us.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 On Money and Motivation by Psyops Prime is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply