All these incentives can shape behavior: positive outcomes are desirable and attractive, while negative outcomes are undesirable and avoided.
Quadrant I Positive Intrinsic (internal) – affirmations, meaning, progress, competence, mastery, wisdom
Quadrant II Positive Extrinsic (external) – recognition, belonging, autonomy, good grades, monetary bonus
Quadrant III Negative Intrinsic (internal) – self-criticism, learned helplessness, fixed mindset
Quadrant IV Negative Extrinsic (external) – negative feedback, bad grades, putting money in a swear jar
Accomplishing a goal is rewarding in itself. Some rewards are intangible, such as growth, respect and mastery. Others, like fame and fortune, are more tangible! Consequences can be immediate or delayed. It may be more immediately rewarding to eat a doughnut, rather than exercise, so it becomes important to focus on the rewards of the long-term goal.
Everyone has their own ideas about what is most rewarding for them. Some might consider shopping punishment rather than reward! Also, some rewards are bigger than others. Select the item on the list that you consider the most rewarding and assign it 5 reward points. Select the least agreeable reward and assign it 1 reward point. Using this scale assign points to all rewards. When selecting rewards for accomplishing tasks or goals, the size of the reward should be comparable to the size of the task or goal. Provide mini-rewards for small steps forward, a big reward for accomplishment of a big goal.
- Visiting a bookstore
- Going to the park
- Visiting an art gallery or museum
- Going for a drive
- Going to a concert
- Going to see a movie
- Renting a video
- Purchasing a new book, tape or CD
- A new gadget
- Attending a class
- A bouquet of flowers
- A candy bar
- Going out to eat fast food
- Going out to eat at a fancy place
- A hot bath or shower
- Going shopping
- Ice cream
- A massage
- A nap
- Sports activities
- Outdoor activities
- Visiting friends or relatives
See also What’s the Motivation?
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