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The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for measuring IQ

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  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University)

  • Meijers, Huub

    ()
    (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG and Department of Economics, Maastricht University)

  • Weel, Bas ter

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Research and Department of Economics, Maastricht University)

Abstract

This research provides an economic model of the way people behave during an IQ test. We distinguish a technology that describes how time investment improves performance from preferences that determine how much time people invest in each question. We disentangle these two elements empirically using data from a laboratory experiment. The main findings are that both intrinsic (questions that people like to work on) and extrinsic motivation (incentive payments) increase time investments and as a result performance. The presence of incentive payments seems to be more important than the size of the reward. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations turn out to be complements.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 006.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2013006

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Keywords: incentives; cognitive test scores;

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  1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Schennach, Susanne, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 4702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," NBER Working Papers 13810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roland G. Fryer, Jr & Richard T. Holden, 2012. "Multitasking, Learning, and Incentives: A Cautionary Tale," NBER Working Papers 17752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Heckman, James J. & Humphries, John Eric, 2011. "Identification Problems in Personality Psychology," IZA Discussion Papers 5605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Daniel W. & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 3134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Kremer, Michael R. & Miguel, Edward & Thornton, Rebecca, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," Scholarly Articles 3716457, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Eric P. Bettinger, 2012. "Paying to Learn: The Effect of Financial Incentives on Elementary School Test Scores," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 686-698, August.
  8. Liu, Liqun & Neilson, William S., 2011. "High scores but low skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 507-516, June.
  9. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
  10. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  11. Gneezy, U. & Rustichini, A., 1998. "Pay Enough - Or Don't Pay at All," Discussion Paper 1998-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Nicholas S. Mader, 2010. "The GED," NBER Working Papers 16064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Heckman, James J. & Humphries, John Eric & Mader, Nicholas S., 2010. "The GED," IZA Discussion Papers 4975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Winters, Marcus A. & Trivitt, Julie R. & Greene, Jay P., 2010. "The impact of high-stakes testing on student proficiency in low-stakes subjects: Evidence from Florida's elementary science exam," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 138-146, February.
  14. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Borghans, Lex & Meijers, Huub & ter Weel, Bas, 2006. "The Role of Noncognitive Skills in Explaining Cognitive Test Scores," IZA Discussion Papers 2429, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
  17. Carmit Segal, 2006. "Motivation, test scores and economic success," Economics Working Papers 1124, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2008.
  18. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Financial Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from Randomized Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1755-1798.
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