Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson

Second Advisor

Dr. William K. Redmor

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study compared the effectiveness of a piece-rate pay system in which 100% of the subject's pay was incentive-based with a base pay plus incentive system in which approximately 30% of the subject's pay was incentive-based. Two experiments were conducted. In each experiment, six subjects were exposed to both pay systems using a within-subject reversal design. Subjects participated in 6 to 9 three-hour sessions (Experiment 1) or 9 to 14 four-hour sessions (Experiment 2). Simulated bank checks with differing cash values were presented on a computer screen, and subjects entered the cash values using the computer keyboard. The dependent variable was the number of correctly entered checks. No systematic relationship emerged between productivity and the two pay systems. Neither the total amount of money earned nor the amount of the per piece incentives appeared to affect performance.