Extrinsic motivators destroy intrinsic motivators – An anecdote

I got a Team Umizumi math game for my 4 year old daughter. She loved it! Some of the games were a little over her head but she still played them because it was fun to just pop bubbles and such.

But then I noticed her behavior change, she stopped playing the newer, more challenging games and started playing the same game over and over. One that was easy, and she knew very well. Why?

“If I get 5 trophies Team Umizumi does a dance!”, she told me.

Yes, achievements. If she got 5 trophies, she got a super trophy and a little cut-scene. So instead of just playing the game, she quickly figured out the easiest way to get the goodies.

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