Article

Resting on Laurels: The Effects of Discrete Progress Markers as Subgoals on Task Performance and Preferences

Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition (Impact Factor: 2.86). 10/2008; 34(5):1158-71. DOI: 10.1037/a0012857
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

This article investigates the influence of progress certainty and discrete progress markers (DPMs) on performance and preferences. The authors suggest that the effects of DPMs depend on whether progress certainty is high or low. When the distance to the goal is uncertain, DPMs can help reduce uncertainty and thus improve performance and increase preference. However, when the distance to the goal is certain, DPMs may generate complacency, sway motivation away from the end goal, and decrease performance in the task, as well as its appeal. Therefore, the addition of more information, feedback, or progress indicators may not always improve task performance and preference for the task. The authors validate these claims in 4 experiments.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: On Amir
  • Source
    • "Studies sometimes show that certainty rather than uncertainty undermines effort and learning. For example, effort in computer games is undermined by progress feedback that enhances certainty of success (Amir & Ariely, 2008), and certainty induced by knowing that one will have additional chances reduces the likelihood of taking immediate future-focused action (Khan & Dhar, 2007). Further, both self-report and neural measures indicate increased engagement with learning material when uncertainty is present (Howard-Jones & Demetriou, 2009; see also Ozcelik, Cagiltay, & Ozcelik, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Students often fail to devote sufficient time to schoolwork even though they value school success. One reason may be that they (mis)interpret what experienced difficulty with schoolwork implies because they misgauge their experience relative to others. To test this prediction we divided students into four guided-recall groups. Students were guided to recall a time they interpreted experienced difficulty with schoolwork as meaning that succeeding in school was important and ‘for me’ (or impossible and ‘not for me’) then led to believe that they had the guided interpretation more (or less) frequently than others. Students in the ‘for me’ condition led to believe that they had this experience more than others and students in the ‘not for me’ condition led to believe that they had this experience less than others were more engaged with schoolwork (Study 1), invested more time and hence performed better on a test of intelligence (Study 2).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Social Cognition
  • Source
    • "Studies sometimes show that certainty rather than uncertainty undermines effort and learning . For example , effort in computer games is undermined by progress feedback that enhances certainty of success ( Amir & Ariely , 2008 ) , and certainty induced by knowing that one will have additional chances reduces the likelihood of taking immediate future - focused action ( Khan & Dhar , 2007 ) . Further , both self - report and neural measures indicate increased engagement with learning material when uncertainty is present ( Howard - Jones & Demetriou , 2009 ; see also Ozcelik , Cagiltay , & Ozcelik , 2013 ) . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We live in uncertain times; the path toward attaining important goals is best thought of as probabilistic, not certain. Three studies test the prediction that this “world uncertainty,” uncertainty about the path, is motivating if accompanied by certainty that one can have the skills needed to work on one’s goals. Self- and world-certainty were separately manipulated in college students, and effect on salience of academic and career possible identities and behaviors was assessed. For students, self- uncertainty reduces salience of academic – career possible identities (Study 1), but self-certainty does not help unless combined with some world-uncertainty (Study 2). This combination also increases planned study hours (Study 2) and actual goal-focused action, working on a resume builder instead of playing games (Study 3).
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Self and Identity
  • Source
    • "Studies sometimes show that certainty rather than uncertainty undermines effort and learning. For example, effort in computer games is undermined by progress feedback that enhances certainty of success (Amir & Ariely, 2008), and certainty induced by knowing that one will have additional chances reduces the likelihood of taking immediate future-focused action (Khan & Dhar, 2007). Further, both self-report and neural measures indicate increased engagement with learning material when uncertainty is present (Howard-Jones & Demetriou, 2009; see also Ozcelik, Cagiltay, & Ozcelik, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We live in uncertain times; the path toward attaining important goals is best thought of as probabilistic, not certain. Three studies test the prediction that this ‘world uncertainty’, uncertainty about the path, is motivating if accompanied by certainty that one can have the skills needed to work on one’s goals. Self- and world-certainty were separately manipulated in college students and effect on salience of academic and career possible identities and behaviors was assessed. For students, self-uncertainty reduces salience of academic-career possible identities (Study 1) but self-certainty does not help unless combined with some world-uncertainty (Study 2). This combination also increases planned study hours (Study 2) and actual goal-focused action, working on a resume builder instead of playing games (Study 3).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Self and Identity
Show more