Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


In experimental psychology, an object or goal of motivated behavior.
[LL. incentivus, provocative]


Any stimulus that encourages a desired response. Incentives may be provided to patients (e.g., to ensure adherence to treatment plans), to practitioners (e.g., to improve productivity or job performance), or to students (e.g., to improve grades).

financial incentive

A cash payment made to a patient who achieves a health-related goal such as sustaining a weight loss over a 6-month period or maintaining abstinence from a toxic substance.
References in periodicals archive ?
Incentive package awards are based on the capital to be invested, the jobs to be created or the estimated wage and payroll to be increased.
Silicon Valley titans who warned that the sky would fall if equity incentives were charged to earnings have now been proven wrong.
50, an ink pen, and possible lottery ticket winnings as incentives, concluded that the monetary incentive was better than the other types of incentives and so was cost effective.
Today, many stakeholders believe a more modern framework based on economic incentives that allow companies to profit from achieving environmental goals will build on the achievements of the past and allow for even greater improvements in environmental protection.
To simplify and enhance SSI work incentive provisions, NCD recommends that SSI recipients be allowed to keep the first $700 (rather than the first $65) of earned income.
Incentives can range from cash up-front to performance-based tax abatement, where companies will receive their benefit after showing that they hired the promised number of people.
Incentive funds are limited and are available on a "first come first served" basis.
Thus, although this Court invalidated the state tax incentives in Boston Stock Exchange and the other cited cases, in each case it also affirmed the ability of the States to foster economic growth within their borders.
Local governments are also working hard to keep the companies they have, doing expansion and retention surveys to assess employer satisfaction, and will react quickly to appeals to match incentives offered from outside the area.
with a comprehensive review of the inventory of state economic incentive programs; and,