Martina Vecchi (Pennsylvania State University)
8 March 2024 @ 13:00 - 14:00
Seminar series “CLOSER, but not quite” – Unraveling Effort Choices Amid Stress and Failures
Venue: Campus Luigi Einaudi, room 3 D1 01
Abstract. Motivation to exert effort and performance in effortful tasks are fundamental determinants of success in various spheres, from financial management to academic and professional achievements. This study investigates the distinct and combined effects of acute stress and failure on effort motivation and effort performance using a behavioural laboratory experiment. In a 2×2 two-session design participants are randomly assigned to a stress task in either the first or second session, and to a failure or success feedback condition in the second session. We assess participants’ motivation and performance in a real-effort task, as well as their motivation in a cognitive task similar to the one inducing stress for which feedback is provided. Effort motivation is quantified by asking participants the minimum payment required to abstain from completing the real-effort and cognitive tasks, compensated on a piece-rate basis. Results reveal a significant decrease in effort motivation and subsequent effort exertion in real-effort tasks following instances of failure. Conversely, acute stress does not exhibit a significant impact on effort-related choices.