Testing the mere effort account of the evaluation-performance relationship.


Research traditions in psychology in which the evaluation-performance relationship was examined do not show agreement on the mediating process, nor is there any compelling evidence that favors one account over the others. On the basis of a molecular analysis of performance on the Remote Associates Test (RAT), Harkins (2006) argued that the potential for evaluation motivates participants to perform well, which potentiates prepotent responses. If the prepotent response is correct, performance is facilitated. If the prepotent response is incorrect, and participants do not know, or if they lack the knowledge or time required for correction, performance is debilitated. The present research pits this mere effort account against 4 other potential explanations (withdrawal of effort, processing interference, focus of attention, and drive) on 3 tasks that were specifically selected for this purpose (anagram solution, the Stroop Color-Word task, and the antisaccade task). In each case, the results are consistent with the mere effort account.

DOI: 10.1037/a0012878

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@article{McFall2009TestingTM, title={Testing the mere effort account of the evaluation-performance relationship.}, author={Sametria R McFall and Jeremy Jamieson and Stephen G. Harkins}, journal={Journal of personality and social psychology}, year={2009}, volume={96 1}, pages={135-54} }