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Trying Harder for Different Reasons

Lount, Robert B., Messé, Lawrence A., Kerr, Norbert L. (2000) Trying Harder for Different Reasons. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 31 (4). pp. 221-230. ISSN 0044-3514. E-ISSN 2235-1477. (doi:10.1024//0044-3514.31.4.221) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:42454)

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Past investigations of performance on a conjunctive physical persistence task have yielded consistent evidence of motivation gains in the less able worker - a pattern first seen in data collected over 70 years ago (Köhler, 1926, 1927). Moreover, recent work indicates that these gains are due to the increased instrumentality of the weaker participant's efforts. The present study sought to demonstrate that another potential factor in the work context - the sex composition of the group, which is known to moderate self-presentation concerns - could also affect such motivation gains. Male and female members of work teams performed a physical persistence task. In one condition they performed work trials as individuals. In others, they first worked on the task alone and then were paired with a more capable same- or other-sexed teammate to perform the task conjunctively - i. e., this trial was over as soon as either person stopped. As expected, these less capable participants worked significantly harder under conjunctive task demands, irrespective of coworker sex. However, also as predicted, males tended to show even greater motivation gain when paired with a more capable female, while females' efforts tended to vary the most when they were paired with a male. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding the potentially multifaceted bases for motivation gains in collective work contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1024//0044-3514.31.4.221
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: M.L. Barnoux
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 13:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Kerr, Norbert L..

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