The Effect of the Expectation of Monetary and Verbal Awards on Creativity: A Cross-Cultural Examination

Eva Hecht, Pace University


A total of 132 college students from the United States and China were recruited to examine the effects of monetary and verbal rewards on creativity and motivation. Based on past research, it was hypothesized that an economic incentive would negatively affect one's intrinsic motivation, which subsequently would minimize creativity; however, a reputation-based incentive may not necessarily be detrimental to intrinsic motivation and creativity, especially among Chinese participants. This study also sought to examine which culture produced more creative work, with the hypothesis being that participants from an independent culture, such as the United States, would produce more creative work than those from an interdependent culture, such as China. The results partially supported these hypotheses. Economic incentive and reputation-based incentive were found to be both detrimental to one's intrinsic motivation in both cultures, but not necessarily creativity. Contrary to the stated hypothesis, the products produced by participants from China were more creative and original than those of the American counterparts. Findings from this research will assist in future studies in exploring how to motivate individuals to be creative in different cultures.

Subject Area

American studies|Asian Studies|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Hecht, Eva, "The Effect of the Expectation of Monetary and Verbal Awards on Creativity: A Cross-Cultural Examination" (2014). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3581322.



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