Mark Lepper

Mark Lepper
Stanford University | SU · Department of Psychology

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104
Publications
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Publications

Publications (104)
Article
In this chapter, the authors review the rewards literature and conclude that this research unambiguously shows that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be in conflict. However, they further suggest that this is just one way that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation may be related, and they review more recent research suggesting that intrinsic and...
Article
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Two studies investigated the capacity of a self-affirmation intervention to lower a psychological barrier to conflict resolution. Study 1 used a role-play scenario in which a student negotiated with a professor for greater rewards for work on a collaborative project. A self-affirmation manipulation, in which participants focused on an important per...
Chapter
In his classic Handbook of Social Psychology chapter, Jones (1985) offered a particularly comprehensive account of five decades of social psychology, beginning with the late 1930s. His treatment of the contributions of Kurt Lewin, whom he rightly identified as the most important shaper of modern experimental social psychology—and the groundbreaking...
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Two studies were conducted to determine how gender and age moderate the long‐term and post‐failure motivational consequences of person versus performance praise. In Study 1, fourth‐ and fifth‐grade students (n = 93) engaged in a puzzle task while receiving either no praise, person praise, product praise, or process praise. Following a subsequent fa...
Article
Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students responded to a questionnaire concerning their experiences with electronic videogames and computers. Teacher ratings of academic achievement, personality characteristics, and behavior patterns were also obtained for each student. These data were used to examine a number of hypotheses concerning potential har...
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Age differences in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the relationships of each to academic outcomes were examined in an ethnically diverse sample of 797 3rd-grade through 8th-grade children. Using independent measures, the authors found intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to be only moderately correlated, suggesting that they may be largely ort...
Article
Attitude representation theory (C. G. Lord & M. R. Lepper, 1999) explains both attitude-behavior consistency and attitude change with the same principles. When individuals respond evaluatively to an attitude object, they activate and combine assumptions about the attitude object with perceptions of the immediate situation. The assumptions activated...
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Attitude Representation Theory (ART) holds that attitude-relevant responses are informed by mental representations of the attitude object, which include the individual's actions toward that object. Action Identification Theory (AIT) holds that the same action can be identified at multiple levels. Individuals who identify their actions at lower leve...
Chapter
This chapter describes the wisdom of practice that explains the lessons learned from the study of highly effective tutors. This chapter presents that in the 21st century, tutoring remains the ideal of education. The tutorial is inherently individualized. This individualization, in turn, permits the tutor to elicit from each student a much higher le...
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The authors argue against a purely behavioral definition of praise as verbal reinforcement in favor of the view that praise may serve to undermine, enhance, or have no effect on children's intrinsic motivation, depending on a set of conceptual variables. Provided that praise is perceived as sincere, it is particularly beneficial to motivation when...
Article
Reviews the research associated with self-determination or choice to document the pervasive, normative view that choice is "good." The authors question this view by pointing to cultural differences: Western cultures put a premium on personal independence and uniqueness; non-Western cultures value interdependence and connectedness with one's own gro...
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Current psychological theory and research affirm the positive affective and motivational consequences of having personal choice. These findings have led to the popular notion that the more choice, the better-that the human ability to manage, and the human desire for, choice is unlimited. Findings from 3 experimental studies starkly challenge this i...
Article
What makes the difference between people who, when faced with difficulty, somehow manage to redouble their efforts, and those who, in similar circumstances, give up and resign themselves to failure? And is this difference one that really matters? Carol Dweck’s Self-Theories provides an excellent overview of over a quarter century of her elegant res...
Article
Attitude is considered the most distinctive and most indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology. The two enduring challenges to the attitude concept include the attitude-behavior problem and the attitude-object problem. Essentially, it is these two challenges that have formed the primary stimuli leading to the program of collaborative...
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Recently, 3 different meta-analytic reviews of the literature concerning the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation have appeared, including that by Deci, Koestner, and Ryan (1999) in this issue. Interestingly, despite their common focus, these reviews have offered dramatically opposed bottom-line conclusions about the meaning and imp...
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Conventional wisdom and decades of psychological research have linked the provision of choice to increased levels of intrinsic motivation, greater persistence, better performance, and higher satisfaction. This investigation examined the relevance and limitations of these findings for cultures in which individuals possess more interdependent models...
Article
Three experiments used process measures of concept activation to provide evidence—consistent with previous research, which had used only outcome and self-report measures—that people use category exemplars to assess their social category attitudes. The studies were based on the well-established principle that individuals selectively activate differe...
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Traditional dissonance theory predicts a spreading apart of chosen and rejected alternatives following a decision. More recent constraint satisfaction models of this classic free-choice paradigm suggest that these effects may vary with the overall attractiveness of the choice options. This prediction was tested with 13-year-olds choosing among post...
Article
Comments on R. Eisenberger and J. Cameron's (see record 1996-06440-007) discussion of the detrimental effects of reward. The author discusses limitations to the original article and notes that many of these limitations stem from the fact that this article was based on a previous meta analysis by J. Cameron and W. D. Pierce (1994) that had the same...
Article
Three experiments tested whether changes in social category exemplars affect attitude stability, attitude–behavior consistency, or attitude change. In Experiment 1, participants displayed greater attitude stability across 1 month, in several social categories, when they named the same rather than different exemplars. In Experiment 2, participants d...
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This experiment examined the effects on the learning process of 3 complementary strategies—contextualization, personalization, and provision of choices—for enhancing students' intrinsic motivation. Elementary school children in 1 control and 4 experimental conditions worked with educational computer activities designed to teach arithmetical order o...
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A constraint satisfaction neural network model (the consonance model) simulated data from the two major cognitive dissonance paradigms of insufficient justification and free choice. In several cases, the model fit the human data better than did cognitive dissonance theory. Superior fits were due to the inclusion of constraints that were not part of...
Article
A constraint satisfaction neural network model (the consonance model) simulated data from the two major cognitive dissonance paradigms of insufficient justification and free choice. In several cases, the model fit the human data better than did cognitive dissonance theory. Superior fits were due to the inclusion of constraints that were not part of...
Article
This article provides a critical analysis of Cameron and Pierce's (1994) meta-analytic review of the experimental literature on the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. It is suggested that Cameron and Pierce's overly simplistic conclusion has little theoretical or practical value and is instead the direct consequence of their syst...
Article
This article provides a critical analysis of Cameron and Pierce’s (1994) meta-analytic review of the experimental literature on the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. It is suggested that Cameron and Pierce’s overly simplistic conclusion has little theoretical or practical value and is instead the direct consequence of their syst...
Article
Social typicality effects occur when people apply their attitudes more consistently toward typical than toward atypical category members presumably because attitudes are directed toward the prototypic category member. Four studies tested whether individuals also apply social policy attitudes more consistently toward typical than toward atypical per...
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Two studies examined the effects of embedding instructional materials in relevant fantasy contexts on children's motivation and learning. In Study 1, Ss showed marked preferences for computer-based educational programs that involved fantasy elements. In Study 2, Ss worked with these programs for 5 hr. One program presented purely abstract problems....
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This paper summarizes the results from a series of studies designed to test the hypothesis that making learning more fun will produce corresponding increases both in learning and retention and in subsequent interest in the subject matter itself. Each study examined the effects of two or more versions of an educational activity, each designed to inv...
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A constraint satisfaction network model simulated cognitive dissonance data from the insufficient justification and free choice paradigms. The networks captured the psychological regularities in both paradigms. In the case of free choice, the model fit the human data better than did cognitive dissonance theory. Cognitive Dissonance Cognitive disson...
Article
The “typicality effect” in attitude-behavior consistency is that general category attitudes are usually more likely to guide behavior toward typical than toward atypical social category members. The present studies tested the hypothesis that individuals who are relatively expert at dealing with the category display less of this typicality effect th...
Article
The contact hypothesis predicts that cooperative interaction with members of a disliked group results in increased liking for those members and generalizes to more positive attitudes toward the group. The authors sought to provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that contact affects attitude in part by eliciting a more positive portrait of...
Article
The "effects" that various forms of "computer" use are likely to have on different children's learning, motivation, and social behavior have been a source of heated debate and continuing controversy. In this article, various aspects of this controversy are characterized, and sources of disagreement concerning educational computing are examined. Dif...
Article
The computer, it has been said, is a once-in-several-centuries invention—a technology potentially capable of transforming the process of education (Brown, 1985; Kay, 1977; Papert, 1980; Simon, 1983; Suppes, 1966). Indeed, as the computer has begun to infiltrate primary as well as college classrooms, the array of educational uses to which it has bee...
Article
The perseverance of erroneous self-assessments was examined among high school students. Subjects were first exposed to either highly effective or thoroughly useless filmed instruction, leading, respectively, to their consequent success or failure. No-discounting subjects received no assistance in recognizing the relative superiority or inferiority...
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After viewing identical samples of major network television coverage of the Beirut massacre, both pro-Israeli and pro-Arab partisans rated these programs, and those responsible for them, as being biased against their side. This hostile media phenomenon appears to involve the operation of two separate mechanisms. First, partisans evaluated the fairn...
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Microcomputers offer unique opportunities for systematic variations in the presentation of educational materials and for research concerning the social, motivational, and academic consequences of these different variations. This paper explores one set of theoretical controversies and policy debates that has been stimulated by this new technology fo...
Article
Reviews the book, Mind at Play: The Psychology of Video Games by Geoffrey R. Loftus and Elizabeth F. Loftus (1983). Loftus and Loftus present an intelligent, and often witty, consideration of the psychological and social issues raised by these new computer-based video games. Though, in their hearts, the authors clearly seem to lean toward the side...
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It is proposed that several biases in social judgment result from a failure--first noted by Francis Bacon--to consider possibilities at odds with beliefs and perceptions of the moment. Individuals who are induced to consider the opposite, therefore, should display less bias in social judgment. In two separate but conceptually parallel experiments,...
Article
Presents a conceptual analysis of four sets of research issues raised by the rapid intrusion of microcomputers into the lives of children. The first involves use of the computer as a vehicle for studying the determinants of intrinsic motivation. The second involves the study of the relationships between intrinsic motivation and instructional effect...
Article
This article addresses the questions of when we can predict from an individual's attitude toward a social group to the individual's behavior toward a specific member of that group. One possibility is that individuals determine their attitudes toward a social group by assessing their reactions to an imagined group representative who embodies the def...
Article
This experiment explored the generalization of changes in children's preferences for easy or difficult goals, induced by exposure to peer models. Elementary school children observed a peer model play a novel athletic game, consistently choosing either difficult or easy goals for himself, or saw no model. Immediately afterward, subjects played this...
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Investigated the effectiveness of activity-oriented requests as a technique for enhancing children's generalized subsequent compliance with other adult requests; 54 nursery school children, 3.7–5.9 yrs old, were studied. In Session 1, experimental Ss were asked to perform a chore and encouraged to make this task more enjoyable by either (a) generat...
Article
Investigated the effects of the imposition of a nominal contingency—the presentation of engagement in one activity as a means for earning the chance to engage in a second activity of equivalent initial interest—on 132 preschoolers' subsequent intrinsic interest in and social inferences about the 2 activities. Across experiments analogous contingenc...
Article
Subjects' initial assessments of their persuasive ability persisted after the evidential value of apparent success or failure upon which these impressions were based was fully discredited. These results replicate previous impression-perseverance findings obtained by Ross, Lepper, and Hubbard (1975)and demonstrate that such findings generalize to ta...
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A total of 130 Ss in 2 experiments within a debriefing paradigm examined the perseverance of social theories. Ss were initially given 2 case studies suggestive of either a positive or a negative relationship between risk taking and success as a firefighter. Some Ss were asked to provide a written explanation of the relationship; others were not. Ex...
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People who hold strong opinions on complex social issues are likely to examine relevant empirical evidence in a biased manner. They are apt to accept "confirming" evidence at face value while subjecting "disconfirming" evidence to critical evaluation, and, as a result, draw undue support for their initial positions from mixed or random empirical fi...
Article
A field experiment investigated the effects of training in self-monitoring and goal-setting skills on classroom study behavior and academic achievement among elementary school students in an individualized mathematics program. In the Self-Monitoring Conditions, students were shown a simple system for observing and maintaining daily records of their...
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160 undergraduates in 3 experiments were induced to explain particular events in the later lives of clinical patients whose previous case histories they had read, and they were then asked to estimate the likelihood of the events in question. Each experiment indicated that the task of identifying potential antecedents to explain an event increases t...
Article
Designed a classroom token economy to discover whether demonstrably effective reinforcement procedures would also produce an overjustification effect, indicated by a significant decrement in posttreatment engagement with previously reinforced activities, in the absence of perceived tangible or social rewards. Three different experimental token econ...
Article
Studied the effects of externally imposed deadlines on individuals' task performance and their subsequent interest in the task. In 1 deadline condition, 20 male undergraduates were given an explicit time limit for solving a series of initially interesting word games. In 2 conditions, the importance of finishing was stated explicitly; in the 2nd con...
Article
Four experiments focused on ways children could be trained to imitate others in imposing on themselves higher performance standards in game situations. The study also attempted to determine whether this internal achievement motivation behavior would be transferred by the children to situations such as learning in a classroom. The subjects were 122...
Article
Reiss and Sushinsky criticize several of our studies investigating the "overjustification" hypothesis that extrinsic rewards may undermine intrinsic interest. Our reply focuses on the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, proposed alternative explanations for our data, other data relevant to these issues, and a reiteration of seve...
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Two experiments demonstrated that self-perceptions and social perceptions may persevere after the initial basis for such perceptions has been completely discredited. In both studies subjects first received false feedback, indicating that they had either succeeded or failed on a novel discrimination task and then were thoroughly debriefed concerning...
Article
2 experiments examined the development of personal space in preschool children. Exp I investigated the effects of eye contact and success-failure on the interaction distance 24 preschool children established between themselves and an adult E. Eye contact significantly increased interaction distance; task outcome did not affect distance; and female...
Article
2 experiments examined the persistence and generalization of effects of exposure to modeled self-reinforcement standards. Children observed a peer model exhibiting either a high or low standard for self-reward at a novel game or saw no model. Subjects then played the game, either with or without specific instructions to follow the model's example....
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80 preschool 4-5 yr olds participated in a novel activity in individual sessions. In the expected reward conditions, Ss expected to win a chance to play with highly attractive toys by engaging in the activity; in the unexpected reward conditions, Ss had no prior knowledge of this reward. Orthogonally, Ss in the surveillance conditions were told tha...
Article
Examined the effects of (a) apparent punitive or rewarding E characteristics and (b) anxiety-provoking or relaxed experimental settings on 52 preschool children's obedience to adult requests. In the 1st session, each child saw a videotape of an unfamiliar adult interacting either positively or punitively with another child. Several days later, each...
Article
Preschool children were asked, in individual sessions, to engage in an activity of high initial interest, either for its own sake or in order to obtain an extrinsic reward. Subsequently, children who had undertaken the target activity as a means to some ulterior end showed less intrinsic interest in this activity, as measured unobtrusively several...
Article
Individually prohibited 52 kindergartners from playing with an attractive toy by either a mild (high dissonance) or severe (low dissonance) threat of punishment for disobedience. Orthogonal to this manipulation during a temptation period, in the reminder conditions, a "janitor's" remarks called the S's attention to (a) the fact that he was not play...
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Conducted a field experiment with 3-5 yr old nursery school children to test the "overjustification" hypothesis suggested by self-perception theory (i.e., intrinsic interest in an activity may be decreased by inducing him to engage in that activity as an explicit means to some extrinsic goal). 51 Ss who showed intrinsic interest in a target activit...
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Presents a self-perception analysis of J. Freedman and S. Fraser's "foot in the door" effect, i.e., increased compliance with a substantial demand produced by prior compliance with an earlier, less consequential request. From this perspective, conceptually-analogous effects in a variety of radically different situations were predicted and tested, u...
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Three experiments were conducted to examine the effects of providing extrinsic rewards for engaging in an activity on children's subsequent intrinsic interest in that activity. In each study, preschool children were asked to engage in an activity of initial intrinsic interest in individual experimental sessions. The children agreed to engage in thi...
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Assessed the interactive effects of E valence and the S's anxiety level on social reinforcer effectiveness in a 2 * 2 (High-Low Anxiety * Positive-Negative Valence) design. 40 preschool Ss experienced a 30-min positive or negative interaction with E 1. 1 wk. later, the S's anxiety level was independently manipulated by films shown to the S by E 2;...
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Tested the proposition that successful dissonance reduction tends to be irreversible by presenting consonant information just before or just after a dissonance-arousing situation. 71 kindergarteners were forbidden from playing with an attractive toy, by a mild or severe threat. Orthogonally, they were given a social consensus justification for obed...
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The problem was to assess the relative importance of several potential factors in producing natural variation in child obedience between 1 adult-child dyad and another. Nursery school children were asked to perform tasks by their own and other mothers. There was essentially no consistency across children in the ability of mothers to command obedien...
Article
conducted a detailed examination of the overall goals, the general strategies, and the specific motivational and instructional techniques of demonstrably expert and effective human tutors / watched and taped several dozen experienced tutors working with varying numbers of individual students, in tutoring sessions that lasted from 30–60 min each / a...
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camps have shared, however, is a willingness to speak of an abstract, decontextualized self, and perhaps even more remarkably, of an abstract, undifferentiatedother. The recent flowering of cultural psychology,ingeneral (Fiske et al. 1997; Shweder 1991; Stigler, Shweder, and Herdt 1990; Triandis 1995), and the increasing attention to different cult...

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