Performance Based On Rewards
In any competitive environment, there are many factors that affect the outcome and performance. In Daniel H. Pink’s, an author and journalist, book Drive he makes the claim “when rewards are present and added to an engaging task, than they can decrease performance” (29). In the competitive dance atmosphere when rewards are present more often than not; although they will improve performance through a positive mental and physical state for most, in some cases giving off negative impacts.
First, rewards can present a positive mental state. Even the smallest trophies and rewards can make a dancer feel positive and push them to try even harder. As William A. Darity, Jr., a researcher from Stanford University, stated in his article “Winner-Take-All Society” that even the smallest rewards make huge impacts, and some will become happier than ever. There are many cases of rewards having positive effects in a competitive dance environment. Campbell Herman, a thirteen year old competition dancer at Performers Edge said “when I know rewards are achievable, I tend to stay positive which deeply impacts the way I perform on stage.” When Herman looked at the rewards from a positive view she always executed her dances better, which made a huge impact within her scores and placings. The rewards impacted her mentally in a beneficial way, which ended up boosting her performance. Rewards have many other positive effects that extend further than mental.
Furthermore, rewards can have a positive affect directly on your physical performance. Tim Davies and Adrian Stoian, both researchers and economists, conducted an experiment on athletes in their article “Measuring the sorting and incentive effects of tournament prizes”. The bigger the reward was, the athlete performed better. This was due to the athletes pushing themselves to reach the end goal. The rewards further enhanced their performance and made their results better. Heidi Labar, a thirteen year old competitive dancer said, “as the range of successful dancers gets narrower, the drive and rewards push my performance to new lengths that I didn’t think I could ever reach.” Labars statement demonstrates one of the many times rewards have had a positive effect on a dancer. Rewards positively affected many competitive dancers physical performance.
While many have found rewards positive, others have found it to affect their performance in a negative way. Kevin S. Masters and Benjamin M. Ogles, two psychology professors, showed how rewards decreased performance in their investigation “an investigation of the different motivations of marathon runners with varying degrees of experience”. They have found that a majority of athletes with any level of experience, had their performance decrease. Molly Lesnewski, a fourteen year old competitive dancer, shared “when I arrive at competitions and strive for the end reward, my performance decreases.” When the rewards are present, for some, their performance takes a major decline. In this case Daniel H. Pink’s claim was true. When a reward was offered and present, the performance went down. When some people just focus on rewards they forget the task at hand.
Throughout all these studies, everyone keeps getting different results. Everyone has different performance rates when rewards are present. In the competitive dance atmosphere when rewards are present more often than not; although they will improve performance through a positive mental and physical state for most, in some cases giving off negative impacts.