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Financial motivation undermines potential enjoyment in an intensive diet and activity intervention.

Authors
  • Moller, Arlen C1
  • Buscemi, Joanna
  • McFadden, H Gene
  • Hedeker, Donald
  • Spring, Bonnie
  • 1 Department of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, USA, [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of behavioral medicine
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2014
Volume
37
Issue
5
Pages
819–827
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10865-013-9542-5
PMID: 24142187
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The use of material incentives in healthy lifestyle interventions is becoming widespread. However, self-determination theory (SDT) posits that when material incentives are perceived as controlling, they undermine intrinsic motivation. We analyzed data from the Make Better Choices trial-a trial testing strategies for improving four risk behaviors: low fruit-vegetable intake, high saturated fat intake, low physical activity, and high sedentary activity. At baseline, participants reported the degree to which financial incentives were an important motivator (financial motivation); self-reported enjoyment of each behavior was assessed before and after the 3-week incentivization phase. Consistent with SDT, after controlling for general motivation and group assignment, lower financial motivation predicted more adaptive changes in enjoyment. Whereas participants low in financial motivation experienced adaptive changes, adaptive changes were suppressed among those high in financial motivation.

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