By Edward L. Deci
Appears at experimental reports and mental theories to provide an explanation for the improvement, stimulus, and impression of intrinsic motivation in addition to the explanations for voluntary habit.
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Extra info for Intrinsic Motivation
In the late 1940s and early 1950s a great deal of work was reported which further documented that manipulation and exploration are important examples of intrinsically motivated behavior. Berlyne (1950, 1955) demonstrated that rats are quick to explore novel spaces and objects and that they persist at this exploration so long as novel stimulation is available. Welker (1956a, 1956b) found similar results for chimpanzees. When the experimenter placed a novel object in the chimpanzees' presence, they readily explored it and once they had explored it and manipulated it, they appeared to lose interest.
Optimal Incongruity The approach to conceptualizing intrinsic motivation which has received the most attention in the last two decades has discrepancy or incongruity as its central notion. Hunt (1963, 1965, 1971a, 1971b) has been the strongest spokesman for this point of view. Much of the work related to incongruity was not presented by the original authors within a framework of intrinsic motivation. However, Hunt has brought this work together within that framework. The central issue for most of the work in this area is the extent to which people will approach or avoid incongruous (or dissonant or discrepant) inputs (or cognitions).
He (1946b) presented evidence that stimuli which were discrepant from the expectations of chimpanzees produced fear and avoidance behaviors. Fears caused by novel stimuli were spontaneous and did Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation 33 not result from pairing with other primary fear inducers. Rather, they appeared to result from the interruption of cerebral organization by incongruous stimuli. This, he asserted, can also account for fear induced by under-stimulation situations, such as children in dark rooms.