“I’Ll Have One of Each”: How Separating Rewards Into (Meaningless) Categories Increases Motivation

Scott Wiltermuth, University of Southern California, USA
Francesca Gino, Harvard Business School, USA
Researchers have long sought to understand how incentives can more effectively foster motivation. In three studies, we show that people exert more effort when the rewards to doing so are split between two arbitrary categories. This finding holds for gain- and loss-frames and is highest for those high in need-for-closure.
[ to cite ]:
Scott Wiltermuth and Francesca Gino (2011) ,"“I’Ll Have One of Each”: How Separating Rewards Into (Meaningless) Categories Increases Motivation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 267-268.