Article | American Psychologist | June 1998

Reward, Intrinsic Motivation, and Creativity

by B. A. Hennessey and T. M. Amabile


Comments on R. Eisenberger and J. Cameron's (see record 1996-06440-007) discussion on the impact of reward on creativity. The authors argue that Eisenberger and Cameron overlooked or failed to adequately explain several demonstrations of lower creativity on rewarded activities as compared with nonrewarded activities. Moreover, the evidence they provided of increased creativity under reward is more informative about relatively simple human behaviors than about actual creative performance. The authors believe that it is erroneous and misleading to conclude, as do Eisenberger and Cameron, that the detrimental effects of reward occur under limited conditions that are easily avoided.

Keywords: Creativity; Motivation and Incentives; Performance Evaluation;


Hennessey, B. A., and T. M. Amabile. "Reward, Intrinsic Motivation, and Creativity." American Psychologist 53, no. 6 (June 1998): 674–675.