Posted by: amandawinifred | August 20, 2011

Reminders and Rewards (Extrinsic Regulation)

Reminders and Rewards (Extrinsic Regulation)

Consequences: Rewards or Punishments?

Do you remember being given candy for practicing the piano, or not being allowed to go to a friend’s house because you didn’t do your homework the night before? These are what we call consequences, or extrinsic rewards or punishments.

Consequences can be motivating, especially if the consequence is valuable to you. As a student you can effectively regulate your motivation by assigning a goal for yourself, and then assigning a reward for successfully completing your goal (or a punishment for not finishing–but the rewards are better!)

Because you are the one selecting the reward/punishment in an effort to increase your motivation for a task, you are effectively self-regulating!

So… rewards or punishment?? Studies show that rewards are usually more effective than punishments in getting the student to stay motivated for longer–so stick with the rewards! For example, you could set rewards like:

In addition to tangible rewards, encourage yourself with positive statements as you work toward your goal

For example, you could think thoughts like:

Consider what rewards you might set for yourself or positive statements you might make in the blank bubbles.

Research indicates that giving yourself consequences is positively associated with increases in effort, achievement, and general well-being

Goal-Oriented Self-Talk

You might be thinking: talking to myself? Really? This will help me regulate my emotions and be a better student? Well, it’s true! Goal-oriented self-talk is another strategy to help you regulate your motivation.

This strategy calls for you to think about various reasons why you would want to persist or complete the task.

Remember, for you to be regulating your motivation, you need to be aware of your level of motivation throughout the task. To use this strategy when you notice your motivation getting low, you need to consciously remind yourself about your goals.

For example, you could purposefully think about:

  • Getting high grades, doing better than others, or showing your innate ability.
  • Completing the goal in order to satisfy your curiosity, becoming more knowledgeable about a topic, or becoming more independent.

Through this strategy, you can increase your motivation, which will allow you to increase your effort, and ultimately, attainment.

Return to Motivation and Self-Regulation


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