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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Effort and performance in a cooperative activity are boosted by perception of a partner’s effort
Author(s): Chennells, Matthew
Michael, John
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Keywords: High Effort Condition
Virtual Coins
Earn Points
Coin Flipper
Appearance Items
Issue Date: Dec-2018
Citation: Chennells M & Michael J (2018) Effort and performance in a cooperative activity are boosted by perception of a partner’s effort. Scientific Reports, 8 (1), Art. No.: 15692.
Abstract: In everyday life, people must often determine how much time and effort to allocate to cooperative activities. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that the perception of others’ effort investment in a cooperative activity may elicit a sense of commitment, leading people to allocate more time and effort to the activity themselves. We developed an effortful task in which participants were required to move an increasingly difficult bar slider on a screen while simultaneously reacting to the appearance of virtual coins and earn points to share between themselves and their partner. This design allowed us to operationalize commitment in terms of participants’ investment of time and effort. Crucially, the cooperative activity could only be performed after a partner had completed a complementary activity which we manipulated to be either easy (Low Effort condition) or difficult (High Effort condition). Our results revealed participants invested more effort, persisted longer and performed better in the High Effort condition, i.e. when they perceived their partner to have invested more effort. These results support the hypothesis that the perception of a partner’s effort boosts one’s own sense of commitment to a cooperative activity, and consequently also one’s willingness to invest time and effort.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s41598-018-34096-1
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