Some participants may be better than others: sustained attention and motivation are higher early in semester

Nicholls, Michael E.R., Loveless, Kellie M., Thomas, Nicole A., Loetscher, Tobias, and Churches, Owen (2015) Some participants may be better than others: sustained attention and motivation are higher early in semester. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68 (1). pp. 10-18.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2014.925...
 
2


Abstract

Many studies use multiexperiment designs where experiments are carried out at different times of semester. When comparing between experiments, the data may be confounded by between-participants effects related to motivation. Research indicates that course-credit participants who engage in research early in semester have different personality and performance characteristics compared to those tested late in semester. This study examined whether the semester effect is caused by internal (inherent motivation of the participant) or external (looming exams, essays) factors. To do this, sustained attention and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation was measured in groups of course-credit (n = 40) and paid (n = 40) participants early and late in semester. While there was no difference in sustained attention between the groups early in semester, the course-credit group performed significantly worse late in semester. The course-credit group also showed a significant decrease in intrinsic motivation with time whereas the paid participants showed no change. Because changes were not seen for both groups, the semester difference cannot be due to external factors. Instead, the data demonstrate that course-credit participants who engage early have high sustained attention and intrinsic motivation compared to their late counterparts, who leave their participation to the last minute. Researchers who use multiexperimental designs across semester need to control for these effects—perhaps by using paid participants who do not vary across semester.

Item ID: 52451
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1747-0226
Keywords: methodology; experimental design; motivation; performance
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2018 05:54
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis @ 80%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page