Presentation Title

Pac-Man and Paradoxical Motivation: A Re-examination of the Effects of Regulatory Focus and Feedback Type on Motivation

Advisor Information

Carey Ryan

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

6-3-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

6-3-2015 3:30 PM

Abstract

Previous studies examining whether failure or success motivates individuals to work harder have shown mixed results. Some work (e.g., Van-Dijk & Kluger, 2004) suggests that these mixed results may be at least partly due to individual differences in regulatory focus. People may primarily focus on either achieving positive outcomes (promotion focus) or on preventing negative outcomes (prevention focus), depending on trait-based tendencies and present mental states (Higgins, 1997). In this study, using alternative methodology, we attempted to replicate Van-Dijk and Kluger’s (2004) findings that negative (versus positive) feedback under prevention focus and positive (versus negative) feedback under promotion focus increase motivation. Participants consisted of 74 undergraduate psychology students (76% female; 76% White). Participants first completed trait regulatory focus measures and played one of two modified versions of the Pac-Man video game intended to manipulate state regulatory focus. Participants then completed a manipulation check and underwent a second manipulation in which they reported their willingness to invest effort in a hypothetical class project after receiving either positive or negative feedback about their progress on the project. Controlling for trait regulatory focus, the Pac-Man game successfully manipulated state regulatory focus as expected. However, contrary to our expectations, participants who played the promotion focus version of Pac-Man reported greater willingness to invest effort following negative versus positive feedback, whereas participants who played the prevention focus version of Pac-Man reported equivalent effort intentions regardless of type of feedback. We discuss the implications of these findings and the potential utility of our new methodology.

This document is currently not available here.

COinS
 
Mar 6th, 2:00 PM Mar 6th, 3:30 PM

Pac-Man and Paradoxical Motivation: A Re-examination of the Effects of Regulatory Focus and Feedback Type on Motivation

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Previous studies examining whether failure or success motivates individuals to work harder have shown mixed results. Some work (e.g., Van-Dijk & Kluger, 2004) suggests that these mixed results may be at least partly due to individual differences in regulatory focus. People may primarily focus on either achieving positive outcomes (promotion focus) or on preventing negative outcomes (prevention focus), depending on trait-based tendencies and present mental states (Higgins, 1997). In this study, using alternative methodology, we attempted to replicate Van-Dijk and Kluger’s (2004) findings that negative (versus positive) feedback under prevention focus and positive (versus negative) feedback under promotion focus increase motivation. Participants consisted of 74 undergraduate psychology students (76% female; 76% White). Participants first completed trait regulatory focus measures and played one of two modified versions of the Pac-Man video game intended to manipulate state regulatory focus. Participants then completed a manipulation check and underwent a second manipulation in which they reported their willingness to invest effort in a hypothetical class project after receiving either positive or negative feedback about their progress on the project. Controlling for trait regulatory focus, the Pac-Man game successfully manipulated state regulatory focus as expected. However, contrary to our expectations, participants who played the promotion focus version of Pac-Man reported greater willingness to invest effort following negative versus positive feedback, whereas participants who played the prevention focus version of Pac-Man reported equivalent effort intentions regardless of type of feedback. We discuss the implications of these findings and the potential utility of our new methodology.