Article | Journal of Personality and Social Psychology | July 1976

Effects of Externally-Imposed Deadlines on Subsequent Intrinsic Motivation

by T. M. Amabile, W. DeJong and M. R. Lepper

Abstract

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 condition, the deadline was left implicit. In 2 control conditions, 20 other Ss worked on the puzzles without any explicit time limit. In one condition, Ss were asked to work at their own pace; in the other, they were asked to solve the puzzles as fast as possible. Virtually all Ss finished in the allotted time. Unobtrusive measures of subsequent interest indicated that in the absence of external constraints, Ss in the deadline condition were less interested in the game than Ss in the nondeadline conditions. Implications for the overjustification hypothesis are discussed.

Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Time Management; Social Psychology; Situation or Environment;

Citation:

Amabile, T. M., W. DeJong, and M. R. Lepper. "Effects of Externally-Imposed Deadlines on Subsequent Intrinsic Motivation." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 34, no. 1 (July 1976): 92–98.