Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 333–343 | Cite as

The Effects of Social-Comparison Versus Mastery Praise on Children’s Intrinsic Motivation

  • Jennifer Henderlong Corpus
  • Christin M. Ogle
  • Kelly E. Love-Geiger
Original Paper


Two studies examined the effects of social-comparison versus mastery praise on 4th- and 5th-grade children’s intrinsic motivation. Children received a high score and either social-comparison praise, mastery praise, or no praise for working on a set of novel puzzles. They then worked on a different task and were given either ambiguous feedback (Study 1) or positive feedback (Study 2) before completing measures of intrinsic motivation. Mastery praise enhanced intrinsic motivation and social-comparison praise curtailed it when uncertainty about children’s subsequent performance was introduced (Study 1) and, for girls, even in situations of continued success (Study 2). Social-comparison praise also tended to discourage children from seeking subsequent self-evaluative normative information. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Intrinsic motivation Praise Social Comparison Mastery Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Henderlong Corpus
    • 1
  • Christin M. Ogle
    • 2
  • Kelly E. Love-Geiger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyReed CollegePortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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