Wrestling with Intrinsic Motivation (But Only If You Want To) with Amelia Bowler, BCBA

Amelia Bowler, BCBA

Connections Behavior Planning and Intervention is excited to welcome Amelia Bowler, BCBA, for a webinar for Behavior Analysts! This event will focus on information about ‘intrinsic motivation’ in behavior analysis.


We’ve all heard the warning: “Don’t give your child rewards or you will ruin their internal motivation,” but what does the research say? Should we be worried? Do we know what “internal motivation” is or where it comes from? How do we know if it’s there or if whether we have already ruined it?
For behaviour therapists (but also for teachers, parents, colleagues and managers), the question of motivation is central. We are always looking for ways to influence each other and to maximize cooperation. Rewards such as praise, money, or treats are already part of our social economy, but the side-effects of these incentives are not always positive. Confusion and unease around “rewards” can undermine behaviour planning. To have meaningful conversations about motivation, we need to be able to dig into the research, define it for ourselves in technological terms, and then share our understanding in an accessible way. A deeper understanding of the research on motivation and rewards can also help you avoid practical pitfalls and ethical quagmires, and to practice with kindness and confidence.

About the Presenter

Amelia Bowler, BCBA, Amelia Bowler is a teacher, writer, artist, parent, fomenter of chaos and Board Certified Behaviour Analyst in Toronto, Canada. She has written two books on the topic of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, including The Parent’s’ Guide to Oppositional Defiant Disorder, published by Jessica Kingsley Books.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will operationally define common educational terms such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, using behavioral language.
  2. Attendees will identify situations in which attempts at providing contrived, contingent, socially-mediated reinforcement may be harmful to the learner.
  3. Attendees will explain why individuals may seek out or stay in situations involving contingent reinforcement even when non-contingent reinforcement is available.
  4. Attendees will identify reinforcing situations that occur in the “natural” environment, and describe what is so compelling about the things we do “for free.”

CEU’s included, and Cost to Attend:

  • 2.0 Learning BACB CEU’s per session (included with purchase)
  • $39.99 to attend
    • Includes access to the recording and presentation materials, and CEU’s.

For questions, challenges with registration, or any other needed information, please contact Dusty, Director of Continuing Education and ACE Coordinator for CBPI, LLC, at continuingeducation@connections-behavior.com.

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