Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Sense Of Effort: a Cost-Benefit Theory of the Phenomenology of Mental Effort
Author(s): Szekely, Marcell
Michael, John
Keywords: Mental effort
Cognitive control
Issue Date: 9-Oct-2020
Citation: Szekely M & Michael J (2020) The Sense Of Effort: a Cost-Benefit Theory of the Phenomenology of Mental Effort. Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
Abstract: In the current paper, we articulate a theory to explain the phenomenology of mental effort. The theory provides a working definition of mental effort, explains in what sense mental effort is a limited resource, and specifies the factors that determine whether or not mental effort is experienced as aversive. The core of our theory is the conjecture that the sense of effort is the output of a cost-benefit analysis. This cost-benefit analysis employs heuristics to weigh the current and anticipated costs of mental effort for a particular activity against the anticipated benefits. This provides a basis for spelling out testable predictions to structure future research on the phenomenology of mental effort.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s13164-020-00512-7
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Székely-Michael2020_Article_TheSenseOfEffortACost-BenefitT.pdfFulltext - Published Version319.09 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.