The Effects of Cooperation and Competition on Motivation Essay

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Research Article Summary A research article on The Effects of Cooperation and Competition on Intrinsic Motivation (Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004) examined the effects of cooperation and competition on participants in a sports setting and performed multiple studies to evaluate the relationship between the two. They found that both cooperation and competition had a positive influence on intrinsic motivation and performance through four experiments that tested the effects of pure cooperation, pure competition, and intergroup competition on intrinsic motivation and performance (Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004). Tauer & Harackiewicz (2004) defined pure cooperation as “a group of individuals working together to attain a common goal” (p. 849). …show more content…
There are very few studies on intergroup competition. This type of group interaction is more realistic because it “involves both cooperative and competitive elements” ((Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004, p. 850). The research that has been performed have been on intergroup competition in purely cooperative and competitive conditions (control groups) to show the effects on the psychomotor task. These studies have shown a strong positive correlation between intergroup competition and performance in the work place, group productivity, and academic performance ((Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004). Cooperation can also have a negative effect on motivation if the size of the group is too large, a person can feel like they lost their autonomy or if they fail to meet their goal (Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004). Conversely, cooperation can also provide camaraderie and positive feedback as the team works towards a common goal (Tauer & Harackiewicz, 2004). Tauer & Harackiewicz (2004) provided two hypotheses: first, that “intergroup competition would lead to higher levels of task enjoyment and performance than would pure competition and pure cooperation”(p. 851); second, positive feedback would help the participant to enjoy the activity more than those who received negative feedback. All these experiments took place at a weeklong boys’ basketball day camp. It examined the interactions of 36 boys

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