Author

McGee

Date of Award

12-2003

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson

Second Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Third Advisor

Dr. Bradley E. Huitema

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This study examined the effects of individual and group monetary incentives on the performance of high and low performers. Participants were six college students who performed a computerized work task called SYNWIN. Participants earned points for correct responses and lost points for incorrect responses. The primary dependent variables were the total number of points earned per session and the percent correct per session. An ABAC within-subject reversal design was used, where A= individual incentives, B = group incentives (either high or low performance), and C = hourly pay.

The point scores of all six participants decreased when group incentives were in effect, but failed to increase to previously higher levels for all but two participants during the second individual incentive condition. The point scores of all participants were lowest during the hourly pay condition. The data were highly variable for the majority of participants, particularly during the second individual incentive condition. Due to this variability, no distinct conclusions could be drawn about the effects of individual and group monetary incentives on the performance levels of high and low performers.

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