Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Karna Basu

Second Advisor

Ingmar Nyman

Academic Program Adviser

Randall K Filer


This research uses an experimental design to study if the pattern and positioning of rewards influence the amount of effort participants put in. The three key hypotheses tested here are: 1) are people more likely to complete a task if the incentives are given in more regular intervals, 2) do uncertainty of reward timing hurt or help in maintaining motivation, 3) is intrinsic motivation more influential than the patterns in which incentives are structured? The treatments in this experiment are created by varying the reward structure of candies and pens in exchange of a simple math test completion. Among the five treatments, participants responded best to the treatment that gave all the rewards at the end.



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