Foster, C., Hulleman, M., deKonig, J. J., & Hetting, F. J. (2006). Effect of extrinsic motivation on cycle time trial performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2696.

red line

"Athletes often follow pacing patterns that seem unreasonably aggressive compared to pre-race performances, potentially because of the extra motivation provided by the competitive environment". This study determined the effect of extrinsic motivation on cycling time-trial performance. Well-trained recreational level cyclists (N = 7) completed four 1500-m time-trials in a laboratory including a practice trial, two self-paced trials, and a final trial where an unexpected monetary reward for improved performance was presented. Time, total power output, power output attributable to aerobic and anaerobic metabolic sources, VO2 and heart rate were measured.

There were no significant differences between the times, average power output, power attributable to aerobic and anaerobic sources, or the highest VO2 over the three consecutive time trials.

Implication. Unexpected extrinsic incentives do not change performance.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.

red line