I believe it! For mechanical activities, the concept of the rewards and bonus would work better. But when we are talking about the rudimentary cognitive activities the reward idea would not work at all.
Our current system in universities are mostly based on the reward-punishment methodology. A number of advisors, even here, are asking their students to stay in their office, they might check on them three times a day to see where they are there or not. I would say it does not work at all, and they kind of know it. Even some of them force their students by saying that “you know who is the boss here, and if the boss asks you to do something you got to do it”. Nope that is not the way! Having a conversation with Dean DePauw, we might call some of these actions as academic bullying, but that is what we are faced with in many places. I mean a person who chooses to go for a higher level program, definitely knows that he or she should be a hard-worker, but people who are in charge they have this conspiracy theory that the student is running away from working and they have to push them harder with ridiculous rules and silly works, or set up some reward-punishment program.
My experience tells me that the intrinsic motivations are far more important than extrinsic ones, I mean as the financial issues are solved by the first step; the rest is purely about intrinsic motivations. I wish we could tell folks in academia that the world has been changed, the carrot and stick game does not work anymore. They are trying to box students in, not letting them to fly over new areas and find the real things. Take a look on the greatest achievement people came up with before, In how many of them money, bonus, rewards or punishment were the main reasons for such achievements? Probably none.
I personally agree that Autonomy, mastery and purpose are the hidden golden keys for individual better performance. I had so many related experiences with these three golden keys. I know people who came with absolute great ideas when they were chilling on their vacation doing whatever they wanted to do (Autonomy). I know people who dance for themselves without getting paid, and their videos are being watched like crazy on YouTube (Mastery). How many doctors we know that they work voluntarily just because they feel they have the responsibility for the human being wellness, and many neat medical techniques are just developed right there while helping other people (Purposes).
I wish we could let people working in all the university disciplines know that the old-fashioned educational methods of sweeter carrot and sharper stick do not work anymore. But, this question remains for me and it is: How can we get people to change their rusty mindsets?