The Effect Of Reinforcement On Performance

2391 words - 10 pages

Experiment # 1The Effect of Reinforcement on Performance&The Difference in Self-Efficacy Levels in Terms of Different Levels of ReinforcementAbstractThis study was conducted to see the effect of reinforcement on performance, and the relationship between levels of self-efficacy and the level of reinforcement provided. The hypothesis was formulated that the reinforcement provided would increase the performance of participants, and that the performance of the highly reinforced group would be better than that of the moderately reinforced group and of the control group. It was also hypothesized that there would be a measurable difference in self-efficacy levels in terms of different levels of reinforcement provided, with self-efficacy increasing as the levels of reinforcement increased. 54 participants aged between 18 to 25 years were selected through the convenient sampling method from different departments of the University of Karachi. After the calculation of the results, it was found that one part of the hypothesis was proven (the highly reinforced group performed better than the moderately reinforced and control group) but one part was not proven (reinforcement did not consistently improve performance). Furthermore, the hypothesis that self-efficacy would improve as reinforcement increased was also disproved.IntroductionMotivation is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal. It elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors. Motivation involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behavior.There are innumerable factors which may affect a person's motivation to do something. Most of these factors can be divided into either internal factors or external factors. Motivation which is driven by internal factors is called intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is based on taking pleasure in an activity rather than working towards an external reward. For example, a student who studies a subject because he is interested in learning about it (not to get a good grade) is intrinsically motivated.On the other hand, motivation which is driven by external factors is called extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards like money and grades, and threat of punishment. Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer to win and beat others, not simply to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity.There are several theories of motivation. One of them is the instinct theory. According to instinct theories, people are motivated to behave in certain ways because they are evolutionarily programmed to do so. An example of this in the animal world is seasonal migration. The main problem with this theory is that it did not really explain behavior, it just described it. However, contemporary evolutionary psychologists still study the influence of genetics and heredity on human...

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