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Motivation Crowding-out

General scientific definition

Athough extrinsic motivation can also be crowded out by intrinsic motivation, the motivation crowding-out mechanism is mostly used to describe the mechanism that occurs when extrinsic motivation for a specific task replaces the existing intrinsic motivation for doing that task.

Relevant substantive theories

  • Self-Determination Theory

  • Motivation Crowding Theory (Frey & Jegen 2001)


  • Frey, B. S., & Jegen, R. (2001). Motivation Crowding Theory. Journal of Economic Surveys, 15(5), 589-611. doi:10.1111/1467-6419.00150

  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "What" and "Why" of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-268. doi:10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01


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