Front Page Titles (by Subject) Autonomy vs. Extrinsic Rewards - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1979, vol. 2, No. 1
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Autonomy vs. Extrinsic Rewards - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1979, vol. 2, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Autonomy vs. Extrinsic Rewards
“Extrinsic Rewards, Congruence Between Dispositions and Behaviors, and Perceived Freedom.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36 (1978): 588–597.
Studies of the conditions under which a person feels a freedom of choice in determining his or her behavior indicate that perceived freedom is greatest when: (1) the behavior alternatives are similar in attractiveness; (2) the behaviors are unpredictable rather than predictable; and (3) the options are highly attractive.
The present research assesses the role of intrinsic vs. extrinsic reinforcement and congruence with dispositions in generating perceptions of personal freedom. (Intrinsic reinforcements are rewards from the nature of a behavior itself, for example, enjoyment of the activity, whereas extrinsic reinforcements are rewards from contextual variables, for example, money or prestige.)
This research indicates that when extrinsic rewards are expected to determine a person's choice, he or she is seen as having relative freedom, even when the options involved are highly attractive. Such extrinsic rewards, however, are expected to prevent the actor from expressing personal dispositions. The effects of extrinsic rewards tend to equally reduce the perception of “decision freedom,” whether they are biased in favor of one's personal disposition or operate against it.
These results have some interesting implications for the consequences of governmental policies that offer subsidies to influence an individual's behavior. Such subsidies (extrinsic reinforcements) are likely to reduce the recipient's perception of his or her freedom of choice, even when the subsidy is used to further a behavior which the person has a prior disposition to perform. This agrees with the observation that as government operations increase, citizens progressively feel a decreasing sense of control over their lives.